Thomas Muller has said that he would still pick Robert Lewandowski ahead of Ballon d'Or favourite Karim Benzema despite the Polish striker's summer move to Barcelona.
Muller and Bayern Munich are preparing for a Champions League meeting with Lewandowski and his new club.
The pair spent eight seasons alongside one another in the Bayern forward line, with the Polish striker scoring more than 40 times in each of the last seven campaigns.
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Comparing the two strikers ahead of Barcelona's visit to Munich, Muller was full of praise for Benzema's efforts last season.
But the German still feels that he is obliged to pick long-time team-mate Lewandowski ahead of the French striker.
"I have to go for Lewandowski," Muller
, before suggesting that he understands why two top European goalscorers are compared. "But I know what you mean. Benzema had a very good season and is a very good player."
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A fine goal-scoring season from the striker powered Carlo Ancelotti's side to domestic and continental success last season, and Benzema is hotly tipped to follow team success with prestigious individual honours at the Ballon d'Or ceremony on Monday October 17.
The Frenchman has won every game so far after his summer elevation to Real Madrid club captain.
Lewandowski is also on the 30-player shortlist for the men's Ballon d'Or.
One notable exclusion is Lionel Messi after an injury-disrupted first season at Paris Saint-Germain, with the seven-time winner not on the shortlist.
His great rival Cristiano Ronaldo did make the cut, however, though is unlikely to be among the leading contenders for the gong.
Ronaldo has the approval of Muller, though, with the German citing his own personal record against sides containing the Portuguese striker as the reason he prefers Ronaldo to Messi.
"I go for Ronaldo," Muller replied when asked to choose between the pair. "Against Messi I have a good statistic; against Ronaldo, not that good."
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