Former Barcelona captain Carles Puyol believes Robert Lewandowski deserves the Ballon d’Or for his “incredible” displays at Bayern Munich.
Lewandowski, who joined Barcelona in the summer, was widely tipped to win the 2020 Ballon d’Or, but no award was given due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last season, the 34-year-old Lewandowski scored more goals than he had appearances, finding the back of the net 50 times in 46 total games for the Bavarians.
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He is among the leading contenders to win this year’s prize but is not the favourite, with Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema expected to come out on top when the ceremony takes place on October 17.
“Lewandowski deserves the Ballon d’Or,” Puyol said of the Polish forward.
“He is one of the best number nines in the world, an impressive player who dominates many defenders. He is not only a striker; he knows how to hold the ball up and combine too.
“Benzema and Lewandowski are the best strikers in the world. Karim has been carrying Madrid on his back since Cristiano [Ronaldo] left and Lewandowski has been incredible at Bayern.”
Puyol, while talking at the XAP charity padel tournament, was also asked about his former team-mate Lionel Messi and whether he could return to Barcelona.

Spain's defender Carles Puyol (L) vies for the ball with Poland´s Lewandowski during a WC2010 friendly football match against Poland at the Nueva Condomina stadium in Murcia, on June 8, 2010, ahead of the WC2010 FIFA World Cup held in South Africa.

Image credit: Getty Images

Messi’s contract at Paris Saint-Germain expires next summer and Puyol thinks the legendary Argentine’s decision will depend on what he wants in the final part of his career, as well as the thoughts of Barcelona boss Xavi.
“It’s not too late for a Messi return,” said Puyol. “He has one year left in his contract and many things can happen in that time. It depends on Xavi and Leo, but he will always be welcomed at Barca.”
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