Robert Lewandowski would deserve the Ballon d’Or if the award were being given in 2020, former Portugal striker Nuno Gomes says.
Lewandowski scored a remarkable 55 goals in all competitions, including 15 in the Champions League, to propel Bayern to a treble of Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League triumphs.
France Football elected not to award the Ballon d’Or this year due to the disruption of the season caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Gomes believes that decision is particularly unfair on Lewandowski, who has spent the past 24 hours celebrating Bayern’s 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League final.
“I think he deserves to [win] the Ballon d’Or if the prize were happening,” Gomes, speaking at the Nissan UCL Final Watch Party, told Stats Perform News.
“He is a striker that is lethal if you’re playing against him. You have to also keep an eye on him because, if you give him a little bit of space, he will score.
“One of the best strikers at the moment, for sure.”
— CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE (@FCBayernEN) August 24, 2020
Kylian Mbappe, another future Ballon d’Or hopeful, endured a frustrating outing in Sunday’s final in Lisbon and spurned an excellent chance to put PSG ahead in the first half.
Still, Gomes has no doubt the 21-year-old will become at least one of the top three players in the world.
“Mbappe has a lot of room to grow,” he said. “I believe that, if things develop in his career normally, he will be one of the best players that the next generation will hear about for the next years.
“He has a lot of potential, he’s a pure talent, he has speed, he decides the game sometimes. So, I think in the next years we will hear about his name in the top three footballers in the world.”