Former Borussia Dortmund striker Karl-Heinze Riedle feels Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski should’ve won the Ballon d’Or instead of Lionel Messi, adding that the former is the best striker in the world. Messi pipped Lewandowski to lift his seventh Ballon d’Or in Paris this week. Riedle, a Borussia Dortmund legend, also said that he is a great admirer of the Polish forward, and not winning the trophy was a bit of a disappointment for the latter, especially considering the number of goals he has scored for the past two seasons.
“I mean you can always give this trophy to (Lionel) Messi anytime because he is an incredibly good player, but. My opinion is if Lewandowski can’t get it in for this year, I mean he has got so many goals he broke the record in Germany two times now, and he is an unbelievable player, so if you can get it in this season so maybe you never can get it, so this is a little bit of a disappointment for him because I’m a great admirer of him, I think he is the best striker in the world and he definitely deserved it this year,” the 56-year-old told NDTV during a media interaction organised by the Sony Sports Network.
Dortmund host Bayern in the first “Der Klassiker” of the season on Saturday at the Signal Iduna Park, a stadium that has seating capacity of over 80,000. However, only 15,000 fans will be allowed inside the stadium when both sides meet later on Saturday due to recent spike of COVID-19 cases in Germany.
Several players, including Bayern’s German midfielder Joshua Kimmich has refused to get vaccinated. Kimmich will also miss the big game as he is in home quarantine, having come in contact with a person having COVID-19.
On being asked whether players should get vaccinated or not, Riedle said: “It’s a very very bad thing this Covid. I think it (the vaccination) should be an obligation, because we have so many problems with young people, they are not vaccinated in Germany and I if I would be in politics then I would say okay everybody has to do it now, and so there.”
There have been doubts regarding Erling Haaland’s future, especially after Dortmund crashed out of the Champions League, following a 1-3 home defeat at the expense of Ajax.
On being asked about the player’s future, the Bundesliga Global Ambassador feels that the Norwegian striker should stay in Germany, and Dortmund are hoping that they can keep him for another season.
“He should stay, I mean we’re really praying that he can. He will stay another year for Borussia Dortmund. I know it will be very difficult to all them in in the team after the season, but for us he’s really a crucial player, and I mean we had a really, really bad exit from the Champions League. They shouldn’t lose this game, but even there you could see how important it is to have Haaland in the team.
“With him we wouldn’t get out of this competition but I mean, now is the chance to focus on Europa League and this is a title we never went before in the whole history so it will be an achievement to win But for sure everybody will be behind Haaland, on next season, and it will be difficult to hold him, but hopefully he will sign another year we stay another year was us,” he said.
The likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United have been linked with Haaland.
Riedle, who won two Bundesliga and one Champions League title with Dortmund, hoped that his former team can beat Bayern, which will take them two points clear at the top of the league table.
He concluded by saying that considering Bayern’s dominance in Bundesliga, a win over the defending champions would certainly lift the confidence of the Dortmund players ahead of a long season
“It’s a great opportunity now to really to get two points clear if they win the game. I mean the dominance of by Munich especially in the crucial games has been incredible over the last 10 years, so you need all players in the best condition to face them.”
Watch the LIVE coverage of Der Klassiker – Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund on SONY TEN 2 channels from 11:00 pm (IST) on December 4, 2021.
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