Berlin (dpa) – Bayern Munich’s record-breaking striker Robert Lewandowski was named Germany’s footballer of the year for the second successive time in a poll organized by Kicker magazine and announced Sunday.
In what was a far from surprise victory, Lewandowski collected 356 votes of 563 cast by German sports journalists to win convincingly from team-mate Thomas Mueller on 41. Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland was third on 38.
“I’m aware how big this honour is,” the 32-year-old Lewandowski said.
The forward struck 41 goals as Bayern won the Bundesliga last season, bettering the record of 40 from Gerd Mueller in 1971/72 which was long held to be unbeatable.
“This tally fills me with great pride and in light of my injury is definitely a spectacular performance,” Poland’s Lewandowski said.
Hoffenheim’s Nicole Billa was named female footballer of the year in the same poll while Chelsea’s Champions League winning manager Thomas Tuchel was coach of the year.
“Crazy! I have not reckoned on this at all,” said Billa, who won a tighter race with 61 of 468 votes cast, narrowly edging out Bayern Munich’s Lea Schueller who had 57.
Tuchel was named in succession of new Germany coach Hansi Flick, who won the award the previous year after leading Bayern Munich to a treble.
“I’m very grateful to take this award as recognition for the whole team,” said Tuchel, who collected 129 of 559 votes to 118 for Flick.