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Robert Lewandowski receives his award from UEFA boss Alexander Ceferin. PHOTO/FC Bayern/Twitter

Football

Lewandowski named UEFA men’s player of the year

GENÈVE, Switzerland, Oct 1 – Robert Lewandowski was named UEFA men’s player of the year on Thursday following a superb season in which he won the treble with Bayern Munich.

Lewandowski was at the Champions League group-stage draw in Geneva to receive the award, just weeks after Bayern won the 2019/20 edition of the competition.

The Poland striker, who scored 55 goals in 47 games as Bayern also won the Bundesliga and German Cup, saw off Bayern team-mate Manuel Neuer and Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne to win the award.

“It’s an amazing feeling, because you work so hard, so this trophy is something special,” said Lewandowski after receiving the award.

“I have to say thank you to my team-mates and coaches who helped me get where I am. Also my family have given me so much support and are so important.”

Lewandowski also picked up the award for best forward in last season’s Champions League after amassing 15 goals in 10 games. In one match against Red Star Belgrade he needed just 14 minutes to score four times.

The 32-year-old was also top scorer in the Bundesliga last season with 34 goals, equal to a goal a game in the 18-team league.

It was the fifth time he claimed the award for the highest number of goals in the German top flight since arriving at Bayern from Borussia Dortmund in 2014.

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Lewandowski would have been the strong favourite to win this year’s Ballon d’Or had it not been cancelled by France Football magazine due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It was a good evening overall for Bayern, with Neuer winning the 2019/20 Champions League goalkeeper of the season, Joshua Kimmich winning defender of the campaign and Hansi Flick being named men’s coach of the year.

They will also be favourites to qualify for this season’s Champions League knockout stages after being drawn in Group A alongside Atletico Madrid, Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow.

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