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World chiefs decided to go ahead with the annual FIFA Best awards ceremony despite the Covid crisis that led to the scrapping of the Ballon d'Or prize.
:trophy: He's done it! @lewy_official overcomes two of the greatest players in history to become #TheBest FIFA Men's Player for the first time!- FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) December 17, 2020
:red_circle: @FCBayern ' @LaczyNasPilka :flag_pl: pic.twitter.com/TK34hTXcsS
And the 32-year-old Polish striker won on the strength of his 55-goal haul to help Bayern Munich win the treble last season.
Lewandowski, Messi and Ronaldo had all been shortlisted in the men's category with international captains and managers, fans and a media panel allowed to vote.
"We were the best, there's no doubt about that," Lewandowski said ahead of the online ceremony at FIFA's headquarters in Zurich.
Nicknamed 'LewanGOALski' by teammate Thomas Muller, the forward's goals helped Bayern lift the Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League trophies in 2019/20 as top scorer in all three competitions.
He has already been named Footballer of the Year for Germany and Europe.
"There's no one who deserves it as much as Robert," said Bayern boss Hansi Flick, who had been shortlisted for Coach of the Year.
The news was another blow for Ronaldo who wasn't included in a list of the top 10 performers of 2020 by Carteret Analytics.
Lewandowski scored twice to pass the 250-goal mark in the Bundesliga as Bayern came from behind to beat Wolfsburg 2-1 on Wednesday.
Congrats for scoring @Bundesliga_DE goals no. 250 & 251 my friend :raised_hands: @lewy_official pic.twitter.com/mfvSSOsira
- Leroy Sané (@leroy_sane) December 16, 2020
He becomes just the third player to reach the landmark in the German top flight, after Gerd Muller and Klaus Fischer.
It was his 18th goal of the season for Bayern in all competitions and he has now scored 73 goals in 64 competitive club games since the start of last season.
The win keeps Bayern one point behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen.
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