BARCLEONA — Robert Lewandowski hasn’t forgotten the 2020 Ballon d’Or ceremony that wasn’t, joking that Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema will win this year’s award unless it is cancelled again.
The Poland forward was the frontrunner to win the prestigious individual prize for the world’s best player in 2020 but the ceremony was cancelled for the first time since its inception in 1956 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Lewandowski was instead given a “Striker of the Year” award at the 2021 ceremony, where Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi won his seventh Ballon d’Or.
“(Benzema) is probably one of the favourites to win the Ballon d’Or,” Lewandowski told Movistar on Thursday.
“If they don’t cancel it then he’s probably going to win this Ballon d’Or.”
Benzema is expected to win the prize, given out by France Football magazine, at the ceremony on Monday in Paris, after helping his team win the Champions League and La Liga last season.
Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga and Champions League double in the 2019-20 season, with Lewandowski netting 15 goals in Europe on the way to victory over PSG in the final.
“I wanted to say to Robert that it was an honour to go up against him,” said Messi at the 2021 ceremony.
“He deserved to win it last year.” — AFP