Robert Lewandowski has paid tribute to Jurgen Klopp for the impact he had on the striker's path to being crowned the best player in the world last month.

Bayern Munich star Lewandowski won The Best FIFA Men's Player award for 2020 after starring as Die Roten claimed a Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB-Pokal treble.

Between July 20, 2019 and October 7, 2020 – the period considered for the award – Lewandowski scored 60 club goals in 52 appearances across all competitions at a rate of one every 76 minutes.

He beat Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the prize, with the Pole effectively recognised the best footballer in the world in the absence of a Ballon d'Or winner in 2020.

Lewandowski has enjoyed immense success since joining Bayern in 2014, though he already looked destined for greatness during his time at Borussia Dortmund, where Klopp had begun to mould him into the lethal forward he is now.

Writing in a reflective piece for the Players' Tribune in the wake of his FIFA award win, Lewandowski said of the current Liverpool boss: "Jurgen was not only a father figure to me. As a coach, he was like the 'bad teacher'. And I mean that in the best sense of the word.

"Not the one who made life easy for you and never expected anything from you, but the one who was strict with you. The one who put pressure on you and did everything to get the best out of you. That's the teacher who made you better. Jurgen was like that.

"He was not content to let you be a B-grade student. Jurgen wanted A+ students. He didn't want it for him. He wanted it for you.

"I could talk to Jurgen about anything. I could trust him. He is a family man, and he has so much empathy for what goes on in your private life."

Lewandowski took a season to truly adapt to German football after joining from Lech Poznan in his native Poland, as he only netted eight Bundesliga goals in 33 games during the 2010-11 campaign.

That remains the only season he has failed to reach double figures for league goals during his time in Germany, and Lewandowski considers Klopp's influence to be a major part of his improvement.

"He taught me so much," the striker continued. "When I arrived at Dortmund, I wanted to do everything quickly: strong pass, one touch only. Jurgen showed me to calm down — to take two touches if necessary.

"It was totally against my nature, but soon I was scoring more goals. When I had that down, he challenged me to speed it up again.

"One touch. BANG. Goal. He slowed me down to speed me up. It sounds simple, but it was genius, really."

Lewandowski's shot conversion rate rose from 13.1 per cent to 22.5 after his first season with Klopp and has never dipped below 20 per cent since.

In fact, the 32-year-old appears to be getting better with age, given his best ever return in terms of shot conversion was posted last term (29.8), and he is well on track to obliterate that personal best in 2020-21.

With 20 goals in 14 Bundesliga games, the Polish marksman is converting 44.4 per cent of his opportunities.

 

Hansi Flick admitted he was "a little disappointed" to miss out on The Best FIFA Men's Coach award after Bayern Munich's stunning run of trophy success.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp edged out Flick to take the award on Thursday, after leading the Reds to a first English league title in 30 years.

Flick, who took over in mid-season last term when Niko Kovac left a flagging Bayern, guided the German giants to a treble consisting of Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League titles.

Bayern's achievements were reflected in Bayern's Robert Lewandowski winning the top player award and Manuel Neuer being named best goalkeeper in the world.

Flick would have been proud to join them as a winner but said: "We always take this like sportsmen. 'Kloppo' for sure deserved this title as well with his staff. The same as my staff would have deserved it."

Klopp admitted he had been surprised to pip his fellow German to the award, albeit grateful to secure another award, while Lewandowski said Bayern's players regarded Flick as the pick of the nominees.

Flick said: "Life goes on. Of course, we were a little disappointed last night, which is normal.

"If you get among the top three, you also want to win. We live in a society of performance, so we also would have liked to win.

"But everything goes on, we have new goals to attain. Now, this is closed. The team has attained exceptional results. With Manu [Neuer] and Robert, we have two of the best players.

"Robert as best footballer and Manu as best goalkeeper, and Joshua Kimmich, Alphonso Davies in the world XI ... Thiago [Alcantara] as well, although he is with Liverpool now unfortunately.

"So we can say that this has been an exceptional season for us." 

Robert Lewandowski was delighted to be recognised as The Best FIFA Men's Player in 2020 after "longing" for individual recognition.

The Bayern Munich striker beat Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to FIFA's top prize after firing the German champions to a stunning treble.

He scored 55 goals last season and 60 in the period considered for this honour, 20 more than Ronaldo and 28 clear of Messi.

Ronaldo had won the award twice before, while Messi was last year's top player, but this was a breakthrough triumph for Lewandowski.

"I feel fantastic," said Lewandowski, who was surprised with the trophy in person by FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Thursday.

"I am very proud and happy. To be honest, this is a great day for me, and also for my club and colleagues.

"This award also belongs to my colleagues, the coach and Bayern Munich in general. It is an incredible feeling, a lot of emotions.

"If you win such an award and share that title with Messi and Ronaldo, that is unbelievable and it means so much to me.

"A long time ago, I remember I was longing for something like this and now I can win such an award.

"This really means, regardless of where you come from, all that matters is what you put into it."

Lewandowski helped Bayern to the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League titles, with the European crown ranking as his best moment of 2020.

"For the entire world, this year was difficult," he said.

"The greatest highlight was winning the Champions League final - such a special day and evening, that was an incredible feeling. That was a great moment.

"Then we won the cup and got every title we could possibly win. We have a great coach, great team and we all work towards one goal."

Lucy Bronze claimed The Best FIFA Women's Player award for 2020 after winning the Champions League with Lyon.

The England international came third in the running for the 2019 award but took the top prize this time after winning a third European crown in her third and final season in France.

Right-back Bronze, who subsequently returned to Manchester City, beat competition from Pernille Harder and Wendie Renard.

"Wow, what a surprise to even be nominated alongside the two other players, who I know very well," she said.

"Both Pernille Harder and Wendie Renard are incredible players and outstanding human beings, as well. To even be alongside two players of that stature is incredible.

"To have won it, I don't think I have the words right now to explain how I'm feeling.

"But if there's anything that 2020 has taught us, it's to appreciate every single moment that you've got, to never look too far ahead, and to live in the here and now.

"So I think winning this award right now, this year, I will appreciate it more than ever.

"I'll remember this moment for the rest of my life. I really will just enjoy the moment."

All three finalists were included in the FIFA FIFPro Women's World11, voted for by fellow players.

An unorthodox 3-3-4 formation was named, but there was no room for Sarah Bouhaddi, who missed out to Christiane Endler.

Lyon and France stalwart Bouhaddi had earlier been named The Best FIFA Women's Goalkeeper.

Netherlands boss Sarina Wiegman, who will replace Phil Neville as England manager in 2021, was recognised as The Best FIFA Women's Coach.


FIFA FIFPro Women's World11: Christiane Endler; Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Wendie Renard; Barbara Bonansea, Veronica Boquete, Delphine Cascarino; Pernille Harder, Tobin Heath, Vivianne Miedema, Megan Rapinoe.

Robert Lewandowski has been named The Best FIFA Men's Player for 2020.

The Bayern Munich striker was one of three finalists, along with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, ahead of Thursday's awards ceremony.

Messi, the 2019 winner, and Ronaldo had claimed the top prize in three of its four prior editions but were this time beaten by Bayern's treble-winner.

Lewandowski led the line as the Bundesliga giants won the league, DFB-Pokal and Champions League in 2019-20.

Between July 20, 2019 and October 7, 2020 - the period considered for this year's awards - the Poland international scored a stunning 60 club goals at a rate of one every 76 minutes.

This tally, from 52 Bayern appearances, was 20 more than any other player in Europe's 'top five' leagues.

While Ronaldo was second in this regard, tied with Ciro Immobile on 40 goals, Messi trailed Romelu Lukaku (37), Timo Werner (35) and Raheem Sterling (34).

The Barcelona captain's 32 goals were matched by Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe.

FIFA recognition is particularly precious for Lewandowski this year after the coronavirus pandemic prompted the Ballon d'Or to be cancelled in the best season of his career.

Lewandowski had never previously won either award, although he was the UEFA Men's Player of the Year last season, making him the clear favourite here ahead of Messi and Ronaldo.

Robert Lewandowski has been named The Best FIFA Men's Player for 2020.

The Bayern Munich striker was one of three finalists, along with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, ahead of Thursday's awards ceremony.

Messi, the 2019 winner, and Ronaldo had claimed the top prize in three of its four prior editions but were this time beaten by Bayern's treble-winner.

Lewandowski led the line as the Bundesliga giants won the league, DFB-Pokal and Champions League in 2019-20.

Between July 20, 2019 and October 7, 2020 - the period considered for this year's awards - the Poland international scored a stunning 60 club goals at a rate of one every 76 minutes.

This tally, from 52 Bayern appearances, was 20 more than any other player in Europe's 'top five' leagues.

While Ronaldo was second in this regard, tied with Ciro Immobile on 40 goals, Messi trailed Romelu Lukaku (37), Timo Werner (35) and Raheem Sterling (34).

The Barcelona captain's 32 goals were matched by Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe.

FIFA recognition is particularly precious for Lewandowski this year after the coronavirus pandemic prompted the Ballon d'Or to be cancelled in the best season of his career.

Lewandowski had never previously won either award, although he was the UEFA Men's Player of the Year last season, making him the clear favourite here ahead of Messi and Ronaldo.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski were named in the attack for the 2020 FIFA FIFPro Men's World11.

The trio were all finalists for The Best FIFA Men's Player award and so were unsurprisingly included in the FIFPro Men's World11.

The chief shock elsewhere in the team saw Alisson preferred in goal to Manuel Neuer.

Neuer, who captained Bayern Munich to the treble, had earlier been named The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper, beating Alisson and Jan Oblak to the award.

The Germany skipper had said: "It's one of the best years of my career, of course. We were so confident with our team and it's amazing what we have done in this year, 2020, especially in the summer when we played together in Lisbon [in the Champions League]."

In a team voted for by the players, Alisson was joined by Liverpool team-mates Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara.

Thiago spent the majority of the year with Bayern, who were represented by Alphonso Davies and Joshua Kimmich as well as Lewandowski.

Sergio Ramos and Kevin De Bruyne completed the line-up.


FIFA FIFPro Men's World11: Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Sergio Ramos, Alphonso Davies; Joshua Kimmich, Kevin De Bruyne, Thiago Alcantara; Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski were named in the attack for the 2020 FIFA FIFPro Men's World XI.

The trio were all finalists for The Best FIFA Men's Player award and so were unsurprisingly included in the World XI.

The chief shock elsewhere in the team saw Alisson preferred in goal to Manuel Neuer.

Neuer, who captained Bayern Munich to the treble, had earlier been named The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper, beating Alisson and Jan Oblak to the award.

The Germany skipper had said: "It's one of the best years of my career, of course. We were so confident with our team and it's amazing what we have done in this year, 2020, especially in the summer when we played together in Lisbon [in the Champions League]."

In a team voted for by the players, Alisson was joined by Liverpool team-mates Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara.

Thiago spent the majority of the year with Bayern, who were represented by Alphonso Davies and Joshua Kimmich as well as Lewandowski.

Sergio Ramos and Kevin De Bruyne completed the line-up.


FIFA FIFPro Men's World XI: Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Sergio Ramos, Alphonso Davies; Joshua Kimmich, Kevin De Bruyne, Thiago Alcantara; Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Jurgen Klopp has won The Best FIFA Men's Coach award for the second year running after Liverpool's breakthrough Premier League triumph.

Klopp oversaw the Reds' title success in 2019-20, ending a 30-year wait for a top-flight championship.

FIFA recognition for 2020 follows his win in the same award 12 months earlier after Liverpool won the Champions League.

The Liverpool manager pipped Hansi Flick, the Bayern Munich coach, and Leeds United's Marcelo Bielsa on this occasion.

Flick came up short despite guiding Bayern to the treble, with glory in the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League.

Remarkably, he was still assistant to Niko Kovac on July 20, 2019 when the period under consideration for the award began.

Klopp clearly anticipated a Flick win in the top coaching award as he responded to Thursday's announcement with surprise.

"I am [shocked]," he said. "I was just sitting here because last year I won it, so then I show everybody the respect when I'm nominated and show up wherever it is."

Told again at the end of his acceptance speech that he was The Best FIFA Men's Coach, Klopp replied: "I'm not but I won the award, so that's good enough."

Liverpool moved back top of the Premier League on Wednesday with a dramatic 2-1 home win over title rivals Tottenham.

Thomas Muller has not quite let his Robert 'LewanGOLski' joke go, as the Bayern Munich star backed his team-mate to pip Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at the FIFA Best Awards.

Lewandowski, who scored 55 goals across all competitions last season as Bayern won the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League, is up for the Best Player award in Thursday's ceremony, alongside Barcelona talisman Messi and Juventus forward Ronaldo.

With the Ballon d'Or having not taken place this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a win on Thursday would at least be some recognition for Lewandowski's outstanding year.

The Poland international has continued his hot form into 2020-21, netting 18 times in total already.

In August, Muller joked that Bayern had "Robert LewanGOLski" in a news conference, and Lewandowski's fellow forward used social media to back up his team-mate ahead of Thursday's awards.

"There is only one LewanGOLski," Muller tweeted. "Good luck for #TheBest, #lewyisonfire #thereisonlyone #LewanGOLski #FCBayern #fifathebest."

Since joining Bayern from Borussia Dortmund in 2014, Lewandowski has scored 177 Bundesliga goals in 201 appearances, averaging a strike every 94 minutes.

He has been presented with a total of 290 big chances – as per Opta data – converting 135, at a rate of 46.55 per cent, while he has also created 200 opportunities for team-mates, including 29 assists.

Of his 177 league strikes for Bayern, 24 have come from the penalty spot. In total, 166 have been from his right foot, 29 with his left and 31 were headed.

Lewandowski has scored 164 times from inside the area since August 2014 in the Bundesliga. Indeed, in the same timespan, Lewandowski has scored 90 more goals in Germany's top flight than any other player, with Timo Werner, who has now joined Chelsea, second with 87, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on 85.

There has been similar success in the Champions League for the 32-year-old, who has 54 goals in UEFA's elite club competition since joining Bayern.

It is a tally bettered only by Ronaldo (67), while Messi is in third with 51. Highlighting the gulf in quality between those three and the rest, Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar is in fourth on 37 goals, while Karim Benzema (33) completes the top five.

Robert Lewandowski has hailed Lionel Messi as one of football's greats, suggesting it could be another century before a player of his quality comes along again.

Lewandowski led Bayern Munich to a domestic and European treble last term, scoring a remarkable 55 goals across all competitions.

The 32-year-old has picked up where he left off this season, with 15 goals from 14 appearances ahead of Saturday's Bundesliga clash with RB Leipzig.

Lewandowski scored one and set up another as Bayern trashed Messi's Barcelona 8-2 en route to their Champions League triumph in August, a result which contributed to the Blaugrana's talisman asking to leave Camp Nou.

Messi did not get his wish, however, and ultimately agreed to stay on and see out the final year of his contract.

With the Argentinian set to become a free agent at the end of the season, a number of Europe's biggest clubs will be on high alert, and Lewandowski believes Messi is such a unique talent that it may well be another 100 years before another player of his ilk comes to the fore.

"He is a great player, one of the greatest in the history of football," Lewandowski told Ole.

"I know that the expectations around him are enormous and what he has already achieved as a footballer is something that perhaps no one will achieve.

"Maybe you have to wait 100 years for someone like him to be born again. With what he has already done, he is and will be one of the greatest in all of history."

With the Ballon d'Or not being awarded for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lewandowski has at least been nominated alongside Messi to be named The Best FIFA Men's Player.

Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi received the FIFA award last season and Lewandowski chuckled at the suggestion the 33-year-old should stand aside for somebody else.

"I know that he also wants to win it!" Lewandowski said. "It is logical. It's our job."

Lewandowski also paid tribute to Argentina great Diego Maradona, who passed away last month.

"A great sadness. The news was very ugly," Lewandowski said. "That a player as fabulous as Maradona has left is very sad for all of football.

"We are all very sad but it happened, sadly. When he played, I was hardly born, but I know very well what he did in football and in the 1986 World Cup, how many great games he played.

"As a person it was the same as a player. He liked to have fun and enjoyed life both on and off the field."

Robert Lewandowski does not believe he can be compared to Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or any of the other nominees for FIFA's The Best award following his success with Bayern Munich.

While France Football made the decision not to name a Ballon d'Or winner for 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, world football's governing body will crown The Best FIFA Men's Player on December 17.

The award takes into account accomplishments between July 20, 2019 and October 7 of this year. During that time, Lewandowski scored 55 goals in an incredible 2019-20 season that saw Bayern complete a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble, before adding the UEFA Super Cup and DFL-Supercup this term.

Ronaldo scored 31 goals as Juventus won the Scudetto and he became the first player to strike 50 times in the Premier League, LaLiga and Serie A in the process.

Messi, who took home the accolade in 2019, led LaLiga in goals (25) and assists (21), but his tally of 56 goal involvements in all competitions (31 scored, 25 assisted) represented his worst season since 2013-14.

Kylian Mbappe, Sadio Mane, Neymar and Mohamed Salah are the other forwards on the 11-man shortlist for The Best FIFA Men's Player, but Lewandowski does not think any comparison can be made to him.

"I don't think about that, because I think the most important thing is to analyse what your team achieved in the season," Lewandowski told Ole when asked who his biggest competition for the award is.

"If you scored a lot of goals and won everything and were at the top, I don't think there's anyone I can compare myself to.

"I just focus and think about the next challenge, and so on. If I win the award, of course I will be happy because I know everything I did, that it was for the team, and I know that it will be a decision of the fans and the journalists who vote."

Asked if he feels he deserves to win, Lewandowski added: "Hopefully. It would be a unique feeling. If I won The Best it would be something spectacular for me and an award for the whole team, because I know how well we played.

"What we did last season, for me, was incredible and I think we were the best. We are the best, there is no doubt. And we want to stay in that place

"It's always special to win a FIFA award, a dream. Personally, I know how hard I worked and pushed myself to have the year I had. If you love what you do, it is possible to get the prize.

"But I insist, winning it would be a prize for the whole team. Bayern had an unbeatable year."

Marcelo Bielsa has been nominated for The Best FIFA Men's Coach award after an impressive year saw him become further adored by Leeds United supporters.

The former Argentina coach guided Leeds back to the Premier League last season after 16 years outside the top flight, racking up 93 points in a superb Championship season.

Bielsa, 65, has since overseen a solid start to the new campaign in the Premier League, securing draws against Manchester City and Arsenal as Leeds sit 14th in the table.

But while results in 2020 have been impressive, does Bielsa really warrant inclusion on a five-man FIFA shortlist that also includes Champions League winner Hansi Flick, Premier League champion Jurgen Klopp, LaLiga winner Zinedine Zidane and Europa League victor Julen Lopetegui?

We have looked at some of the best Opta statistics behind Leeds' start to the 2020-21 campaign, comparing that to past Premier League years and what is happening elsewhere in Europe this year.

LEEDS MAKE IMPRESSIVE START

Leeds have had a good opening to the new season and their 11 points from nine games already puts them a healthy seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Wins over Fulham, Sheffield United and Aston Villa mean they are well on track to achieve their survival objective, though heavy defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester City provided a reminder of the difficulty of top-flight life.

Leeds' style of play has also led to a host of entertaining matches, their dramatic 4-3 defeat to champions Liverpool on the opening weekend setting the tone.

Their 14 goals make Leeds the top scorers in the bottom half while only two teams have conceded more than the 17 they have leaked.

With 130 total shots, Leeds are second only to Liverpool in that regard, while they are fourth when it comes to attempts on target (48), both incredibly impressive figures for a promoted side.

They have completed 4,756 passes in their nine matches, which again sees them rank favourably.

That number is good for sixth in the Premier League, behind the likes of Chelsea (5,814), Liverpool (5,683) and Manchester City (5,042) but above Tottenham (4,602) and Manchester United (4,463).

Leeds' average possession figure is a tremendous 60.46 per cent, highlighting the control they have had in most of their matches. Only Pep Guardiola's City (62.57) sit above them in that metric.

Those displays have come even while negotiating a particularly tough start to the season - Leeds have already faced five of the teams who finished in the top eight of the Premier League last season.

BUT POINTS RETURN IS NOTHING SPECIAL

However, the case against Bielsa's nomination would be that when it comes to Leeds' overall record, while 11 points is a decent return, it is certainly nothing special.

Prior to this season, 34 promoted teams had earned 11 or more points inside their first nine top-flight matches.

Some of those have far exceeded that total. Nottingham Forest had 21 points from their first nine games in 1994-95 and went on to finish in third place.

Hull City stunned the league with 20 points in nine matches in 2008, while Wigan Athletic had recorded 19 by this stage in 2005.

There are more recent examples too, as Sheffield United (12) - who went on to finish ninth - and Aston Villa (11) both had similar returns after nine games last season.

Looking specifically at 2020, Bielsa is not the only coach of a promoted team in Europe's major leagues to have captured the headlines this season.

Cadiz are fifth in LaLiga with 14 points from 10 matches after a magnificent start that has seen them earn famous away wins over Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao.

One of the other promoted teams in Spain, Elche - who recently beat Valencia - are poised to overtake Cadiz having racked up 12 points from eight games to start the campaign.

In France, Lens have 17 points from nine games and are seven points off the top of Ligue 1 with two games in hand. They have already defeated leaders and champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Stuttgart, meanwhile, are eighth in the Bundesliga and reached the 11-point mark one game quicker than Leeds did in England's top flight.

While a Bielsa nomination has its merits, the data suggests there were also other potential candidates this year and in seasons past who, having lacked his global profile, can feel hard done by to miss out.

Robert Lewandowski is among the leading contenders for The Best FIFA Men's Player in 2020 after he was named among 11 nominees on Wednesday.

The Bayern Munich superstar fired his side to the treble in 2019-20 and has continued his outstanding form at the start of the new season.

With no Ballon d'Or this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, FIFA's award represents Lewandowski's best chance of recognition for a standout year.

He has tough competition in the form of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and four Liverpool players, but the 32-year-old must surely be considered the frontrunner.

Lewandowski's potential success in this category would be built on Bayern's Champions League triumph and Opta data in that competition since the start of last season helps make his case.

LEADING THE WAY

Virgil van Dijk ran Messi close in 2019, but this year's top honour surely belongs to an attacker - particularly with the Liverpool centre-back and Sergio Ramos playing just eight and seven games respectively over this span due to injury and suspension.

Lewandowski is therefore the obvious choice. He has scored 17 goals in 13 games; for contrast, Messi has six goals and Ronaldo five.

The Poland international has benefited from playing at the forefront of a brilliant team, however, and has had by far the most shots of any player in this time.

His 63 attempts outperform Messi's second-placed 48 by 15. Ronaldo is third with 47, with the leading five shot-takers all nominated as Mohamed Salah (42) and Kylian Mbappe (41) are next on that list.

But Lewandowski has made the most of these opportunities, hitting the target 36 times - another high.

The striker's shot conversion rate of 27.0 per cent far outstrips Salah (14.3 per cent), Neymar (13.3 per cent), Sadio Mane (12.5 per cent), Messi (also 12.5 per cent), Mbappe (12.2 per cent) and Ronaldo (10.6 per cent).

For balance, Ramos is the leading scorer among defenders in this period, netting three goals.

MISSED THE CUT

Although Thiago Alcantara, who has since departed for Liverpool, was included, it was perhaps slightly surprising to see only two members of Bayern's treble-winning team make the list.

The players who created Lewandowski's opportunities went unrewarded.

Joshua Kimmich has a joint-high seven assists and has created the most chances of any player with 38. Thomas Muller played 31 key passes.

Similarly, at Paris Saint-Germain, where Neymar and Mbappe are considered, Angel Di Maria supplied six assists, 24 chances and 12 big chances.

One admission who will surely make the cut in the years to come is Erling Haaland, widely considered the heir to Lewandowski's crown as the Bundesliga's leading marksman.

The 20-year-old Borussia Dortmund man, who was named the 2020 Golden Boy, is the only player to come close to Lewandowski's level of productivity in the Champions League.

Despite playing the first half of last season at Salzburg, who did not qualify from their group, Haaland has 16 goals in just 12 games.

Serge Gnabry, another team-mate of Lewandowski's, is third for goals behind the pair but has a relatively modest nine.

Of Haaland's 40 shots, 24 have hit the target - a tally beaten only by Lewandowski and matched by Messi (from eight more attempts). A shot conversion rate of 40 per cent is the best mark of any player with 40 or more shots.

This might well be Lewandowski's year, but the future is not far away.

Marcelo Bielsa has been nominated for The Best FIFA Men's Coach, but Pep Guardiola will not contest the award this year.

Bielsa guided Leeds United back to the Premier League last season after 16 years outside the top flight.

The former Argentina coach has since overseen a solid start to the new campaign in the Premier League, securing draws against Manchester City and Arsenal.

And Bielsa has been rewarded for his achievement with recognition from FIFA.

The 65-year-old made a five-man FIFA shortlist for the world's leading coach in 2020, joining Bayern Munich's Champions League winner Hansi Flick and Liverpool's Premier League champion Jurgen Klopp among the contenders.

Zinedine Zidane is also in the running after Real Madrid won LaLiga, while Sevilla's Europa League triumph sees Julen Lopetegui included.

But there is no room for City boss Guardiola, who came second to Klopp in 2019.

City failed to defend their Premier League title, finishing 18 points behind Liverpool, and they are already eight points off the pace - albeit with a game in hand - down in 13th place this season.

Guardiola's wait for a first Champions League triumph away from Barcelona also went on as they were stunned by Lyon in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Luis Suarez and Son Heung-min are among the frontrunners for the latest FIFA Puskas Award.

Atletico Madrid forward Suarez netted an exquisite backheel for former club Barcelona at the end of a team move against Real Mallorca, while Tottenham's Son tore through the Burnley defence for an individual effort.

The winners of all prizes - including The Best FIFA Men's Player, for which Robert Lewandowski is the favourite - will be revealed at The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony on December 17.

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