The message of Julian Nagelsmann, Hasan Salihamidzic, and Oliver Kahn didn’t fail to make an impact.
The Bayern coach, the managing director, and the club’s chairman appeared like security protection for their goal-scoring star Robert Lewandowski while walking down the red carpet at this year’s Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris.
Argentine star Lionel Messi was again the winner, but there still was an important job to do from a Bavarian perspective.
It wasn’t to only keep company for the second-placed Pole while he received the newly set-up award as the best striker. The hastily installed award was not more than a consolation gift.
Much more important for the 2020 treble winner was to secure Lewandowski the club’s unlimited support and respect.
The short visit to Paris was Bayern’s first smart step ahead of delicate negotiations. Despite Lewandowski’s contract being valid until 2023, next summer the forward’s future is going to be decided.
While the Pole moves from one record to the next, details came to light, indicating that to extend his contract might be a hard nut to crack.
Despite being 33, the Polish team captain is demanding an extension until 2026. It might be more than a bold guess, coming along is the demand of the same yearly salary; assumed 24 to be 26 million euros per season.
Rumors say Bayern favors one year less but by any means wants to make Lewandowski feel at home in his warm Munich nest.
The former team president called Bayern’s actions a charm offensive as the club fired off a series of unmistakable comments ahead of the Ballon d’Or ceremony.
Nagelsmann, Salihamidzic, and Kahn made clear, there can only be one deserved winner of this year’s award, Robert Lewandowski.
“I am curious to see his upcoming records in Bayern’s shirt. He will be one of the top candidates next year again,” Kahn said.
Former Bayern captain and German record player Lothar Matthaus was less diplomatic calling the vote a joke. “With all respect for Messi and other great footballers, nobody deserved to be the first more than Robert. I don’t understand this election anymore,” Matthaus added.
Ballon d’Or winner Messi paid respect to the runner-up by demanding to give him the award for 2020, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s an honor to battle it out with you about this year’s award. Everyone knows you were the winner last year. You should receive the award retroactively; you should have it at home,” Messi said.
For Bayern 2021 is a done thing. Instead of complaining about the outcome, the Bavarians concentrate on the club’s future. Much more important seems to keep football’s currently best striker.