FC Bayern München icons Robert Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer are among the 23 players that make up the shortlist for The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016, which national team coaches and captains vote on, and in which you can have your say too!
Having broken plenty of records in the 2015/16 season, last season’s Torjägerkanone winner and the man named the World’s Best Goalkeeper on three occasions, have been key components in their team’s thus far unbeaten start to the Bundesliga campaign. Bundesliga.com can now reveal that the two Munich players have made their way onto the list of candidates for the annual FIFA accolade.
Lewandowski picked up right where he left off in the 2016/17 campaign. The Polish international has already netted seven times just ten games into the season and has also racked up four goals in the UEFA Champions League and three in the DFB Cup. His goals have played a big part in Bayern currently occupying top spot in the Bundesliga courtesy of an unbeaten record and a goals-to-game average of 2.4. Lewandowski grabbed a hat-trick on the first day of the season and won the Player of the Week award on Matchday 2, while his form in October saw him named Player of the Month.
Watch:Owo meets Lewandowski
Five reasons to win: Lewandowski
That Lewandowski has made the shortlist is no surprise. The 28-year-old struck a Bundesliga best 30 goals last season as Bayern secured an unprecedented fourth consecutive top-flight title. Against VfL Wolfsburg, Lewy managed a stunning five-goal haul in just nine minutes, netting the prolific Pole four entries in the Guinness Book of Records. He managed 42 goals in 51 games in all competition for Bayern last season.
- The Poland captain has so far scored 22 times in 26 Bundesliga games in 2016, more than any other player.His 30 goal haul last term brought Lewandowski a second Bundesliga top scorer’s gong, setting a new record standard for a non-German player.Since January, Lewandowski has had 107 shots on target, more than any other player.On average, Lewandowski needs fewer than five shots on target in order to score.Bayern have won all 14 games Lewandowski has scored in in 2016.
With five clean sheets to his name in the Bundesliga this season, the 1.93m tall goalkeeper failed to concede on a record 21 occasions last term in which he was ever-present in Bayern’s domestic league campaign.
Watch: A tribute to Manuel Neuer
Five reasons to win: Neuer
In addition to winning the Bundesliga, the 30-year-old also collected a DFB Cup and the Supercup. His outstanding performances moved Germany coach Joachim Löw to name his No.1 as captain following the international retirement of Bastian Schweinsteiger.
- Neuer has featured in all 27 Bundesliga games this year, only missing the final 39 minutes of the last game of last season.In 15 of those 27 games, the Bayern keeper kept a clean sheet.On average Neuer has conceded just once every 171 minutes.The Germany international has not been directly at fault for any of the goals Bayern have conceded in 2016.In 2016, Neuer has saved 79 per cent of attempts on his goal.