No Ballon d'Or, but no denying Lewan's spectacular year

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Robert Lewandowski enjoyed a stellar 2019-20 season with Bayern Munich, scoring 55 goals en route to winning the Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League.

Put Robert Lewandowski in that shrinking category of people who will look back on 2020 as a year to remember.

The year in which the Bayern Munich forward reached the pinnacle of European and world soccer.

With 55 goals in 47 games across all competitions, Lewandowski led Bayern to the Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League titles and put himself in the running for all of soccer's biggest yearly awards.

At least all of the awards that weren't canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

While the time-honored Ballon d'Or won't be handed out for 2020, Lewandowski remains among the top candidates to win FIFA's best-player trophy and Globe Soccer's player-of-the-year honor.

"If you see what we did in this run it is amazing, spectacular-because we won everything that we could," Lewandowski told Associated Press in a telephone interview last week after being included in the nominations for Globe Soccer. "This is something special. … All of these awards are the prizes for something special."

In early online voting for the award, Lewandowski was already ahead of Lionel Messi and trailing only six-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo.

The other Globe Soccer nominees are Karim Benzema, Serge Gnabry, Ciro Immobile, Sadio Mane and Marquinhos.

Globe Soccer has also instituted four new awards to cover the period between 2001 and 2020 for "Best of the Century".

Having already won the UEFA player-of-the-year award for 2019-20, Lewandowski hardly seems bothered that France Football magazine scrapped the Ballon d'Or during his career year.

"It's not important, because it's something extra," he said. "If I win something, I'm very proud and very happy but I cannot get it. … Someone made the decision like that and life goes on."

Liverpool and England defender Trent Alexander-Arnold is among those who have come out publicly saying that Lewandowski deserved the Ballon d'Or. Paolo Condo, Italy's Ballon d'Or voter, wrote a long article recently explaining why he would have selected the Polish forward for the award too.

"If you see how many people, also players, they know what I did, what we did, in this season," Lewandowski said.

With 15 goals in 10 Champions League matches, Lewandowski's scoring was a big reason that Bayern went undefeated en route to winning Europe's premier club competition for the sixth time.

His 34 league goals came in 31 appearances. And his 55 goals overall were more than Ronaldo (37) and Messi (31) scored last season.

Lewandowski was also far more prolific than his idol, former Arsenal great Thierry Henry, was during his peak seasons.

Still, that didn't stop Lewandowski from recalling why he looked up to Henry as a kid while growing up in Poland.

"His movement was amazing. His finishing was amazing," Lewandowski said. "So that's why I was loving how he played, what kind of skills he had."

Already this season, Lewandowski has 13 goals in 12 matches across all competitions-and Bayern is again undefeated in the Champions League. He attributes Bayern's strong start-the club also leads the Bundesliga again-to the short turnaround between the Champions League final in August and the start of this season in September.

"We didn't have so (much time) to think about what we did," Lewandowski said. "That was the only time to rest and stay on the same high quality of focus on the game and next season."

Tommaso Bendoni, the CEO of Dubai Globe Soccer, praised all the athletes who continued to play amid the pandemic.

"This special edition is dedicated to all the protagonists in football who exposed themselves to the risk of the virus, gave up their vacations and rest in order to play every three days, traveled all around the world in order to offer millions of people a few moments of distraction," said Bendoni.

At 32, Lewandowski was asked if he will finish his career with Bayern, the team he joined in 2014 from rival Borussia Dortmund.

"I don't know," he said. "Now I have the contract until'23 and I never think what's happening after. Two and a half years more contract. So it's a lot of time and I know that I can play longer but I have enough time to think about this."

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