Lewandowski backed for FIFA Best award by Bayern boss Flick

Robert Lewandowski “truly deserves” to be recognised as the world’s best player according to Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick.

Lewandowski has been nominated for The Best FIFA Men’s Player award, which will be awarded in Zurich on Thursday, alongside Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 32-year-old Lewandowski scored twice to earn Bayern a 2-1 come-from-behind win against Wolfsburg on Wednesday to keep the German champions one point behind Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen after 12 rounds. 

Lewandowski also celebrated his 250th Bundesliga goal – from just 332 games – the Poland international becoming only the third player in league history to reach the milestone after Gerd Muller (365) and Klaus Fischer (268), though he is the first non-German to achieve the feat.

After 11 league games this season, Lewandowski has 15 goals, following a campaign where the star striker fired Bayern to Champions League glory, in addition to a domestic treble of the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and DFL-Supercup.

Bayern team-mate Manuel Neuer – who celebrated his 200th league win for the club from 261 appearances, beating Thomas Muller’s record – has been nominated for The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper award alongside Liverpool’s Alisson and Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid, and Flick is adamant that both of his players have earned the right to claim the prizes.

“Lewy is on one side very important on the pitch, but also he is in the inner circle of the squad,” Flick said post-match.

“[He] is of course a very important player who’s point of view truly counts. 

“Therefore, we are all looking ahead. So that Manuel as well as Lewy will win their awards. Both players truly deserve it.”

Flick also joined the company of Leeds United coach Marcelo Bielsa and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp in being nominated for The Best FIFA Men’s Coach award.

The 55-year-old admitted that his players had to dig deep to recover from a fifth-minute set-back against Wolfsburg, as Maximilian Philipp volleyed the visitors ahead against the run of play at the Allianz Arena.

Lewandowski headed in Kingsley Coman’s delivery on the stroke of half-time to level the scores, before collecting Jerome Boateng’s pass to lash in his second and complete the turnaround five minutes after the restart.

Bayern – who have won 12 points from losing positions this season, the most in the Bundesliga this term – travel to Leverkusen on Saturday in a battle to clinch top spot heading into the mid-season winter break and Flick praised his team’s fighting spirit ahead of such a crunch clash.

“We won. We won and that is the most important part,” Flick added. “We fought ourselves back after conceding a goal. 

“We fought back heavily and set the equaliser before the half-time which was very important and gave a signal to the team.

“Then we scored at the start of the second half the second goal, where we were playing very well. We tried to stand up against the loss. You can notice, that we really wanted this win against Wolfsburg.

“I told the team, that sometimes you have to fight back properly in order to get back into a winning streak. Coming back to Leverkusen, we want to end this very successful year on a high note. If possible, with three points.”

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