Tonight we will learn the 2021 Ballon d’Or winner, but has Robert Lewandowski’s chance at football’s most prestigious individual prize gone?
CaughtOffside spoke to Polish football expert Ryan Hubbard about Lewandowski’s rise from the Polish third division to being in contention to be named the best footballer in the world.
Read on for Ryan’s thoughts and analysis in our exclusive interview…
How do you rate Lewandowski’s chances of winning the Ballon d’Or this year?
His chances are very high – probably even higher than last year. 2020 was an injustice for Lewy, as he would have won last year’s award by a country mile. It is, however, quite possible that 2020 performances will be taken into account by the voting journalists this time; and if so, he’ll be the odds-on favourite. But Robert does have the numbers – if not the trophies – to back up his claim solely for this year, too.
What would a victory mean for sport in Poland?
For a Polish player to be held in such high regard, is a massive source of pride for many Poles. Anything to do with Lewandowski creates a buzz, so for him to become the first Polish winner of the Ballon d’Or would rank up there with some of the best ever Polish sporting achievements.
Robert Lewandowski celebrates scoring for Poland against Spain
Is Lewandowski now the greatest Polish footballer of all time?
If he isn’t yet, he is definitely on the way to doing so. While Lewy has undoubtedly passed Wlodzimierz Lubanski as the country’s best-ever striker, there has always been a debate over whether he has surpassed both Kazimierz Deyna and Zbigniew Boniek to become the best that Poland has ever produced. The fact that those two have earned honours for the national team (third-placed finishes at the World Cup or, in the case of Deyna, an Olympic gold medal) has always put them ahead in the pecking order, but after the last few years, it’s hard to argue against Lewandowski having now edged past them.
Who would you say…