Nyon (dpa) – The stars of the triple Bavarians should be happy to take this additional short trip to the picturesque Lake Geneva. At the Corona edition of the annual UEFA awards on Thursday (5 p.m.), seven people from Munich, including coach Hansi Flick, are on several candidate lists.
Less than 24 hours after the German Supercup against Borussia Dortmund, star striker Robert Lewandowski and captain Manuel Neuer are hoping for the prestigious freestyle for Europe’s footballer of the year. There is a clear favorite.
National goalkeeper Neuer recently said he had “such a premonition” without going into detail. Even if the 34-year-old showed outstanding games and parades last season, everything speaks for Lewandowski. 15 goals in the Champions League, 34 goals in the Bundesliga, plus six in the DFB Cup. “He’s the best central striker in the world,” said Flick, who both deserved the award.
In addition to Neuer and Lewandowski, Kevin De Bruyne from Manchester City made it into the top 3 of the election through 80 coaches from the European Cup clubs and 55 journalists, albeit as an outsider. “I would be happy if someone from Bayern were hit,” said Neuer diplomatically. According to the European Football Union, at least “the winners” will be present on Thursday at the award ceremony in a Geneva TV studio without viewers and club officials, which is comparatively unadorned due to the pandemic. The guest list is top secret.
The coach of the year is definitely from Germany. In the top 3 are Flick, RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann after reaching the premier class semi-finals and Jürgen Klopp, who gave Liverpool FC the first English championship in 30 years. “I am happy that I am one of the nominees,” said Nagelsmann, but added: “I do not assume that I will win the election.”
The 33-year-old will also be particularly interested in the Champions League group stage draw, which will take place during the same event. Bayern are defending champions and champions in pot 1, Borussia Dortmund in pot 2. Leipzig (pot 3) and Borussia Mönchengladbach (pot 4) are the toughest opponents.
For example, a group with Real Madrid, Manchester City and Inter Milan threatens the Gladbachers. Bayern could face a club from the strong English faction in Pot 2 – Man City, Manchester United, Chelsea FC.
The other prizes are to be awarded between the drawings. UEFA also chooses the best female footballer (Lucy Bronze, the ex-Wolfsburg Pernille Harder or Wendie Renard) and the best coach of a women’s team – Stephan Lerch from VfL Wolfsburg is among the top 3. The individual categories for the best field players of the season are clearly dominated by Bayern.
The best defender will certainly wear the Munich jersey after David Alaba, Alphonso Davies and Joshua Kimmich have been nominated. In midfield, Thomas Müller, De Bruyne and Thiago, who moved from Bayern to Liverpool, got the most points. Lewandowski competes in the storm with Kylian Mbappé and Neymar (both Paris Saint-Germain). National players Lena Goeßling, Dzsenifer Marozsán and Alexandra Popp hope for a small trophy for women.
A Bundesliga professional was last voted the best player on the continent seven years ago. Franck Ribéry triumphed after the triple season in Munich in 2013, the following year Neuer took second place behind the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo. And this year? “Both have the quality to win this election,” said Flick of his star players. “Both were outstanding masters in their positions.”