Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is the only Polish player included in this year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or award shortlist. Lewandowski is joined by his fellow teammates Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Arjen Robben and Arturo Vidal.
Barcelona and Real Madrid players dominate the 23-man list, from which one athlete will be voted the year’s best footballer at a ceremony in Zurich in January 2016. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are said to be front-runners in the competition.
Włodzimierz Lubański was Poland’s first player who was shortlisted for the award. In 1967, he took 16th spot with four votes. The highest ranked Poles in the competition history were Kazimierz Deyna, who came in third in 1974 and Zbigniew Boniek, who also ranked third in 1982.
The Ballon d’Or award is an annual association football award given by FIFA to the male player considered to have performed the best in the previous calendar year. It is awarded based on the votes from national team coaches and captains, as well as journalists from around the world.