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CL legend 'could be awarded Ballon d'Or four years late' in unprecedented move

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ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI could win the Ballon d’Or FOUR YEARS late – in a move almost as remarkable as his 2019-20 season.

Covid restrictions robbed the striker of football’s top individual gong – despite his 55-goal campaign helping Bayern Munich win the Treble.

Robert Lewandowski might get an extra gong after helping Bayern win the Treble in 2019-20, including beating PSG in the Champions League final

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Robert Lewandowski might get an extra gong after helping Bayern win the Treble in 2019-20, including beating PSG in the Champions League finalCredit: Getty
Inter Miami's Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or for an eighth time last year

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Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or for an eighth time last yearCredit: AFP
Bayern icon Lewandowski, 35, is still going strong, albeit for Barcelona

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Bayern icon Lewandowski, 35, is still going strong, albeit for BarcelonaCredit: Getty

Lewandowski, now with Barcelona, is arguably the greatest modern-day men’s star never to have picked up the award.

And in 2021, when Lionel Messi picked up the seventh of his record eight Ballon d’Ors, the Argentinian revealed everyone believed the Polish goal machine had been cruelly denied 12 months earlier.

Messi told the ceremony: “Robert, you deserve your Ballon d’Or. Last year, everyone was in agreement to say that you were the big winner of this award.”

Now Diario Sport journalist Ivan San Antonio claims France Football are considering handing Lewandowski the gong retrospectively. 

It’s understood no final decision has been made over such an unprecedented step.

But Lewandowski would reportedly be delighted to get the award – rather than frustrated at missing out when the prestigious occasion were ditched for the first time in 64 years.

OneFootball quote the 35-year-old as saying: “If I won the Ballon d’Or four years later, I wouldn’t feel offended.

“It would be a great honour and I would accept the award.”

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BALLON D’OR WINNERS THIS CENTURY

LIONEL MESSI and Cristiano Ronaldo of course have dominated the men’s award this century – but the last British winner also sneaks into the list.

  • 2000: Luis Figo (Real Madrid)
  • 2001: Michael Owen (Liverpool)
  • 2002: Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
  • 2003: Pavel Nedved (Juventus)
  • 2004: Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan)
  • 2005: Ronaldinho (Barcelona)
  • 2006: Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid)
  • 2007: Kaka (Milan)
  • 2008: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
  • 2009: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
  • 2010: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
  • 2011: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
  • 2012: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
  • 2013: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
  • 2014: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
  • 2015: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
  • 2016: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
  • 2017: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
  • 2018: Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
  • 2019: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
  • 2020: Cancelled because of Covid-19
  • 2021: Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain)
  • 2022: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
  • 2023: Lionel Messi (Inter Miami)

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Lewandowski’s 2019-20 term has few equals for goalscoring.

he failed to net when Bayern completed the Treble with a 1-0 victory over PSG in the Champions League final – the only time he has won that tournament.

Ex-Man Utd star HEADBUTTS Robert Lewandowski and then scores own goal as Barcelona suffer epic collapse

But Lewandowski’s 55 goals in all domestic football was 16 more than his nearest rival in Europe’s big five leagues – with 34 strikes coming in his 31 Bundesliga matches.

Apart from winning the European golden shoe, he was also named Fifa’s men’s player of the year – which only added to the anger from many fans and pundits when the Ballon d’Or awards were cancelled.

The 148-cap hero won the German crown eight times in a row and since joining Barca in 2022 has added one LaLiga title.

And apart from his own  record-breaking, he stands to become his country’s first ever Ballon d’Or winner – if France Football does opt to roll back the years.

ALL-TIME TOP 10 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SCORERS

ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI is third on the all-time list – behind only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

But Lewandowski, former Bayern team-mate Thomas Muller and Kylian Mbappe are the only top-tenners still with clubs playing Champions League football.

140: Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd, Real Madrid, Juventus)
129: Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain)
94: Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Barcelona)*
90:
 Karim Benzema (FRA, Lyon, Real Madrid)
71:
 Raul González (ESP, Real Madrid, Schalke)
56: Ruud van Nistelrooy (PSV Eindhoven, Man Utd, Real Madrid)
54: Thomas Muller (GER, Bayern)*
50:
 Thierry Henry (FRA, Monaco, Arsenal, Barcelona)
48: Zlatan Ibrahimović (SWE, Ajax, Juventus, Inter, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United)
48: Kylian Mbappé (FRA, Monaco, Paris)*

* Includes 2023/24

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