Robert Lewandowski hopes for 'no politics' in 2021 Ballon d'Or vote
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has urged voters for the 2021 Ballon d'Or to simply select the best player in the world and not vote with any form of agenda.
Lewandowski was the runaway favourite to win the award last year, having fired home a Europe-high 55 goals in all competitions, only to see FIFA cancel the prize because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He remains one of the leading candidates to pick up the prestigious award in 2021, and Lewandowski told a press conference that he believes his success with Bayern should put him in a good position to finally win the prize.
"It's difficult for me to say how important performances with the national team will be in the context of the Ballon d'Or," he said. "Obviously, any good performances can strengthen my position.
"The question is, are we including 2020, when the Ballon d'Or was cancelled, as well as what is happening in 2021?
"As a team, and individually...all the success we achieved. I don't think I could have done any more, apart from national team success of course. I have shown that I am a player who is thinking about the Ballon d'Or.
"It would be a great pride, a real honour. The mere fact that I am among the favourites in the era of Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who have been out of reach for so many years, fills me with real pride. I hope that there will be no politics in all of this and votes will consider only what the player has achieved in the last season. Or, in the last two seasons, depending on how we're interpreting this year's edition."
Unsurprisingly, Lewandowski has been racking up the goals already this year. He has managed 13 in just ten outings - the kind of form that usually wins a player the Ballon d'Or.
Alongside the Bayern hitman, Real Madrid's Karim Benzema is another leading contender for the award, while Messi and Ronaldo will both be in the discussion as always.