Robert Lewandowski is experiencing the best season of his career and would have made a worthy Ballon d’Or winner, says Jerome Boateng.
Despite almost a decade of Bundesliga football, however, Lewandowski continues to raise his game. The striker is a proven serial winner, bagging 51 goals in 43 games across all competitions.
The Pole’s strong performances played a key role in Bayern Munich winning a domestic double this season, and there’s still a chance of winning a first Champions League as well.
Fans and pundits alike, therefore, tipped Lewandowski as a contender for the 2020 Ballon d’Or. However, France Football’s decision to cancel left it many to claim he was ‘robbed’.
Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was similarly unimpressed by France Football’s decision.
But while acknowledging his teammate was ‘unlucky’, Boateng feels the prospect of a first Champions League title is an equally exciting prospect for Lewandowski.
“I have played for years now with him and this has been his best season so far,” Boateng told The Guardian.
“He’s a world-class striker and would deserve to go for the Ballon d’Or. That’s unlucky for him and the rest who would be there. But I know him. He’s really motivated for the Champions League.”
Bayern head into their last-16 tie with Chelsea on Saturday with a 3-0 aggregate advantage. The fact that all three of their goals came in London makes them big favorites to progress to the quarter-finals.
But Boateng, who won the 2014 World Cup with Germany and the Champions League with Bayern in 2013, knows better than to get carried away by their advantage.
“We see Chelsea are in good form,” said the German defender.
“They have improved. They will be stronger than the match in London. We have to be prepared. It starts at 0-0. That’s the next step. Don’t talk about anything else.”