Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has admitted he would take great pride from winning the 2021 Ballon d'Or following a stellar two years that have consisted of relentless goalscoring.
The 33-year-old has operated at the highest level of the game for well over a decade, tearing Bundesliga and Champions League defences apart week after week, year after year for Bayern and previously Borussia Dortmund.
Lewandowski elevated his game to a whole new level during the 2020/21 campaign, scoring a frankly ridiculous 41 goals in 29 Bundesliga games to break Gerd Muller's long-standing record for most strikes in a single German top-flight season.
21/22 has followed a similar pattern for Lewandowski; he's currently operating at a goal per game in the Bundesliga and has 13 in all competitions from just 10 appearances.
Many predicted the Pole would win the Ballon d'Or in 2020, only for France Football to announce there would be no ceremony owing to the exceptional circumstances and 'lack of sufficient fair conditions' caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lewandowski is among the favourites again this year, and he's admitted that it would mean a great deal to him to win the award.
"The possibility of winning the Ballon d'Or means a lot to me, it makes me feel proud. If you consider all that I have achieved not only this year, but also last year, that the ceremony was canceled, I won many titles, I scored many goals," Lewandowski said, quoted by Marca.
"It would mean a lot to me to win it, to win the Champions League, Super Cup, the Club World Cup, I broke Gerd Müller's record of 41 goals in the Bundesliga, it was something impressive, it makes me feel very proud and happy.
"Everyone saw what I did and what I continue to do. My achievements can answer this question, because the last two years were a great achievement not only for me, but for every footballer in history.
Asked if fate owed the award to Lewandowski, he replied: "I don't really know, because it doesn't matter where I come from, because I have a chance of winning the Ballon d'Or.
"I have shown that it is not important where you come from, no matter how hard you work, to be there, I have shown that despite having had a difficult start in my career, you can be very successful and be at the top.
Lewandowski also spoke briefly about his future at Bayern, which has been speculated on in recent months, and discussed the possibility of teaming up with Erling Haaland in Bavaria.
"I'm not really thinking about that [where he'll play next season], we are just starting the season, we've only been there for two months, I have a two-year contract.
"We [Lewandowski and Haaland] are different players, he is a great young player, with a great future, he loves to play counter attack, he has a very strong left foot with a lot of power. I am a forward of another type. Play together? I'm not the one to say that we couldn't play together."