Bayern have finally won this year’s Champions League amidst a pandemic that threatened to stop everything. They beat PSG quite easily although not as embarrassingly as Barcelona or Chelsea but they got the job done. Kingsley Koman the ex PSG player headed the winner in 59 minutes to seal the deal. For all the money spent on them, PSG were poor, primarily Neymar.
Bayern won it fair and deservedly so. The biggest cheer, however, was for Robert Lewandowski, the Polish striker currently in the form of his life. With 55 goals in 47 games, his record is similar to the best of Messi and Ronaldo, and still, he won’t be receiving the Ballon D’or this year.
The French news magazine France Football that holds the Ballon D’or award since 1956 has cancelled this year’s prize due to the coronavirus. The decision was made since the Ligue 1 was cancelled midway due to the pandemic and the organisers believed giving someone the Ballon D’or based on an incomplete season would be unfair.
The France Football editor Pascal Ferre had this to say regarding the cancellation of the Ballon Dor, “In such a unique year we can’t treat it as an ordinary one,” Ferré said. “The season started with certain rules and ended with other rules. In January and February, soccer was played in front of full stands. Then from May and June, it was with empty stands. Two months [January and February] are not enough to analyse, evaluate and make a judgment. The introduction of five substitutes and the Champions League finals format also play a part [in the decision].
While his reasoning is sound, it would have been better if it was applied consistently throughout, i.e. the Ligue 1 was cancelled midway but PSG were still awarded the winning trophy. Although they would have still gone on to win the league, there was still a mathematical chance for other teams to win if the league wasn’t halted.
Lewandowski who has led Bayern Munich to become the first team to win all games in a Champions League campaign surely feels robbed of a deserved Ballon D’or award.
15 goals, 6 assists in 10 games – Champions League
34 goals in 31 games – Bundesliga
6 goals in 5 games – DFB Pokal
Overall: 55 goals, 47 games, goal every 75 minutes
If this was any other year he would have been surely given the prize unchallenged, the cancellation of this year’s Ballon D’or has been something of a mood spoiler for him and his fans. It wouldn’t have been so unfair if all football matches were cancelled, but every big league has been taken to completion and so is the Champions League, on which the Ballon D’or is mostly based on.
Some would say, an individual award in a team sport should not be given much attention, and they would be right. But Ballon D’or has been one of the most prestigious awards not just in football but among all of the sports given its legacy. To be considered of a place along Cruff, Zidane, Messi, Ronaldo is certainly something every football player dreams of. Lewandowski is 32 and almost at the end of his prime. To snatch a chance at Ballon D’or when he has played his heart out just seems unfair and criminal!