Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski has insisted that the Ballon d’Or holds little importance to him, and that the process of identifying the final list of candidates often leaves him ‘shocked’.
The 29-year-old striker is undoubtedly one of Europe’s best strikers after scoring 122 goals in 158 matches for Bayern, and despite being named in the 30-man shortlist for the 2017 Ballon d’Or, Lewandowski admits the award barely holds his attention.
With Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi holding a duopoly over the award for a decade, the 29-year-old – like many – have hardly had a look-in.
Speaking to ESPN Lewandowski spoke of his frustrations with the honour which is awarded to the best male player of the year, he said: “I wouldn’t say it was that important to me.
“Success at Bayern is more important, especially in the Champions League. If we reach the Champions League final and win the Bundesliga, we can speak again, but the Ballon d’Or is never my focus.”
He added: “I don’t know why some players get 50th, 5th or 25th place.
“Only the first three places are important. That is why last year I was a little bit… how should I say… shocked.
“Because if you play for Bayern Munich and are playing Champions League semi finals and scoring a lot of goals in the Bundesliga and you’re second top scorer in the Champions League…
“I don’t know what place I was [Lewandowski finished 16th in 2016] but it was a little bit funny – maybe funny is the right word.”
Bayern Munich have struggled so far this season, and will return to domestic action against SC Freiburg on Saturday under new coach Jupp Heynckes who replaced the sacked Carlo Ancelotti.