Ballon d’Or: Lewandowski voted second-best player of the year in 2021

Bayern Munich Robert Lewandowski holds the 2021 Ballon d'Or trophy for striker of the year during the 65th Ballon d'Or ceremony at Theatre du Chatelet, in Paris, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

Robert Lewandowski achieved the highest place in history for a Pole in the prestigious Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) football award classification by France Football magazine.

Poland’s star football player came second only to Argentinian player Lionel Messi, who won the Ballon d’Or for the 7th time in his career. Lewandowski also received the Striker of the Year award for 2021. This was the first year in which France Football gave such an award.

Only two Poles in history had reached the top three of the award — Kazimierz Deyna in 1974 and Zbigniew Boniek in 1982.

Lewandowski came 8th in the award’s previous edition in 2019 and his highest position was 4th in 2015.

In 2021, throughout all of his matches, the 33-year-old Polish striker scored 64 goals. He was also the Bundesliga’s top scorer with 41 goals in the season and had broken Gerd Mueller’s legendary record. He also won the Golden Shoe — the award for the most efficient footballer in the European leagues.

Messi received 33 more points in the 2021 Ballon d’Or classification and 613 in total compared to Lewandowski’s 580. In third with 460 points came Jorge Luiz Frello Filho Cavaliere, who had won the Champion’s League with Chelsea London this year and Euro 2020 with Italy.

The results of the Ballon d’Or are based on the voting conducted by 185 judges and media representatives from the entire world. Each one of them chooses five best footballers out of an initially nominated 30 and gives them accordingly points ranging from six, four, three, two to one.

France Football magazine has been awarding the Ballon d’Or since 1956. Between 2010 and 2015, the magazine and the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) also distinguished a player with the FIFA Golden Ball, but the plebiscites for best players have been conducted separately since 2016.

The 2020 edition of Ballon d’Or was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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