PARIS: Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski was named men’s player of the year on Thursday at FIFA’s ‘The Best’ awards ceremony in Zurich.
The 32-year-old Lewandowski, top scorer in Europe and winner of the Champions League with Bayern, came out ahead of the other two nominees, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
England defender Lucy Bronze took the women’s award, seeing off thechallenge of Wendie Renard and Pernille Harder.
It is the first occassion for both Lewandowski and Bronze to win the award, with the Pole only the second player after Luka Modric in 2018 break a 13-year Messi-Ronaldo hegemony. “I am very proud and very happy,” said Lewandowski. “I have to honestly say that it is a great day for me and for my club. “It is an unbelievable feeling. Winning an award ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo means a lot to me.”
Lewandowski’s stellar season for all-conquering Bayern has already been recognised by UEFA who awarded the Polish striker European player of the year in October. While he has won the Bundesliga in each of his first six seasons at Bayern, finishing as the league’s top scorer in four of the last five seasons, his international profile has been hurt in the past by Poland’s mediocre form and his previous failure, at Dortmund and Bayern, to win the Champions League.