UEFA awards: Lewandowski, Bayern dominate annual honors

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In addition to the groups for the 2020-21 Champions League campaign, UEFA revealed the recipients of a bevy of season-ending awards during Thursday’s ceremony in Geneva. Here are the winners of the various honors.

Men’s Player of the Year

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

The presumptive Ballon d’Or favorite prior to the scrapping of the 2020 installment, Robert Lewandowski capped a brilliant campaign by leading Bayern Munich to a Champions League title. The Polish international became one of only two players to capture a treble while leading all three competitions in scoring.

Women’s Player of the Year

Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg)

Danish international forward Pernille Harder topped all scorers in the Champions League with nine goals as Wolfsburg lost to Lyon in the final. Harder also became the world’s most expensive female footballer when she joined Chelsea in September for a reported €300,000 fee.

Men’s Coach of the Year

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Hansi Flick (Bayern Munich)

From caretaker boss following Niko Kovac’s sacking to full-time manager and treble winner, Hansi Flick enjoyed a remarkable term with Bayern. Under Flick, the Bundesliga behemoths went on a torrid spell that included victories in 32 of 35 matches, the best points-per-match ratio in club history.

Women’s Coach of the Year

Jean-Luc Vasseur (Lyon)

Lyon gaffer Jean-Luc Vasseur’s first season in the charge of the club was near-infallible: Les Fenottes notched a record 14th French League title on the spin and a record seventh Champions League conquest.

Goalkeeper of the Season

  • Men: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
  • Women: Sarah Bouhaddi (Lyon)

Bayern’s Manuel Neuer unsurprisingly earned the distinction after playing a key role in the club’s Champions League crowning. It was the same for Lyon shot-stopper Sarah Bouhaddi, who won her seventh Champions League with the French giants this past season.

Defender of the Season

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  • Men: Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
  • Women: Wendie Renard (Lyon)

Joshua Kimmich captured this award despite playing most of the campaign as a defensive midfielder for treble winners Bayern. Goal-scoring Lyon center-back Wendie Renard earned recognition after winning a seventh European Cup and 14th French League title.

Midfielder of the Season

  • Men: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
  • Women: Dzsenifer Maroszan (Lyon)

Manchester City talisman Kevin De Bruyne became the third Premier League player to earn this award, joining David Beckham and Frank Lampard. Germany star and Lyon playmaker Dzsenifer Marozsan took home her latest individual honor as Lyon added to their impressive haul.

Forward of the Season

  • Men: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
  • Women: Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg)

Lewandowski led both the Bundesliga and the Champions League in goals in 2019-20, while Harder won the women’s award after achieving the same feat with Wolfsburg.

UEFA also honored Chelsea and Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba with the President’s Award as part of Thursday’s festivities. The award is bestowed annually to a person involved in football who has contributed to the advancement and excellence of the sport.

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