Robert Lewandowski: ‘Teammates make the difference’

Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski matched Cristiano Ronaldo's FIFA The Best record when he picked up his second consecutive award.

Poland and FC Bayern München striker Lewandowski was recognised as The Best FIFA Men’s Player for the second year in succession.   -  Bayern Munich / Twitter

Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski matched Cristiano Ronaldo's FIFA The Best record when he picked up his second consecutive award in January.

The Bayern Munich star took top honours in the ceremony after an imperious campaign that saw him score 41 goals, a Bundesliga record, pipping the likes of Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah.

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The 33-year-old dedicated his award to teammates and fans and has nothing but scoring goals on his mind.

You have won FIFA Player of the Year two times now. Which was the more emotional one — the first time last year or the second time because you defended it?

I’m very proud of this award. I think that both are something special, both amazing, the first one because it was the first time but the second one in a row means a lot to me. I also want to say thank you to all my teammates and coaches and to everyone who voted for me. I want to say thank you to all the fans for their support around the world. During the time of the pandemic, it’s meant a lot to me. Sometimes you play without the fans, sometimes with them. It's also been a very difficult time for players. We see now what this means, this support from the fans — sometimes from the TV, sometimes on the street because they are not in the stadium. I know that everything we are doing is also for them, and that’s why this prize also goes to my fans.

What have teammate contributions been like towards your performance? Do you dedicate this award to them?

Yes, 100 per cent. This award also belongs to them. Football is the most popular sport in the world but it’s not an individual sport, it’s a team sport. I know that I can only win with my team as well, and if my team plays well and my team wins, then maybe I can score more goals and I can win as well.

Teammates make the difference, because if the team plays well, for me, it's sometimes an easier job to do! And it means we can only win if we play as a team. I will always say that my teammates are very important for me, the coaches as well because [the fact that I am] sitting here now with the prize, means this is also for my team. And I am very happy to play with my teammates in the national team as well [as with] FC Bayern [Munich].

There are many goals to reach — the Champions League, the Bundesliga, and Poland’s qualification for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. How are you approaching them?

In the end, the best way, the best solution, is if I score the goal. It is my idea to always be in the right position at the right time, to be ready for the ball, to be ready to do something with the ball, without the ball and to do something for the team. That's why, for me, always [if you are going in] one direction with the team, you can be the winner.