Zurich (Switzerland): Robert Lewandowski, the Best FIFA Men’s Player for 2021, paid tribute to Gerd Muller, saying without him “I would not have managed all this”.
The 33-year-old attacker, who defended his title from last year, defeated Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain and Mohamed Salah of Liverpool to bag the top honours.
“I feel very honoured, very proud and happy. I want to thank my teammates. We all work hard to win trophies. This is a title for everyone around me,” said Lewandowski as quoted by FC Bayern on Monday midnight.
“Everything that happened last year, the Bundesliga record, I wouldn’t have dared dream that would happen. If someone had told me a few years ago, I wouldn’t have believed it.
“Unfortunately, Gerd (Muller) is no longer with us. But without him, I wouldn’t have managed all this. It’s always about what I can do next, to achieve the next record,” added Lewandowski.
Muller, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, died on August 15, 2021, at the age of 75.
In 2021, the Polish international broke two seemingly unsurpassable records set by Bayern legend Muller. During the 2020-21 Bundesliga season, Lewandowski scored 41 goals and surpassed Muller’s record (40 goals in the 1971-72 season).
Bayern’s number 9 Lewandowski also set a new record with 43 Bundesliga goals in the 2021 calendar year (Muller’s record was 42 goals in 1972).
With a staggering 58 goals in all competitions for Bayern last year, the Polish was by far the most successful goal scorer in Europe’s top 5 leagues.