The GOAT (Greatest of All Time) debate in any sport has always divided opinion, something that is no different in football too.
While many fine players have graced the beautiful game over the years, very few have managed to regularly produce the goods season after season while plying their trades in some of the world's top clubs. Not only do these players score goals aplenty for club and country, winning individual and team honours galore, but they have also done it with remarkable consistency.
In a COVID-19-ravaged year, some players have shone the brightest to stake their claim as the GOAT. Three such players are Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski. On that note, let us have a brief look at how these players performed in 2020.
Lionel Messi has had a lukewarm year by his staggering standards. Nevertheless, the diminutive Argentine won a record seventh Pichichi (top scorer in a La Liga season) and produced a record 21 assists in a Liga season to close out the 2019-20 campaign.
In the current campaign, Messi scored against a record-extending 36th different opponent in the Champions League. He also broke Pele's record for the most goals by a player for a single club when he netted his 644th for Barcelona.
Cristiano Ronaldo has had a stellar year despite the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the suspension of the football season for a few months.
The Portugal captain produced a strong finish to the season to inspire Juventus to their ninth consecutive Scudetto triumph. However, in the Champions League, the Bianconeri crashed out in the Round of 16 stage despite Ronaldo's heroics.
Ronaldo has had a blistering start to the 2020-21 campaign, scoring 12 goals to lead the Serie A scoring charts. He has also scored four times in the Champions League.
In Portugal colours, Ronaldo became the first European to score 100 international goals.
Robert Lewandowski has scored goals galore for club and country in 2020.
The prolific Pole plundered goals aplenty in the second half of the season to help Bayern Munich to a second continental treble, which included an eighth consecutive Bundesliga triumph and sixth win in the Champions League.
Continuing from where he left off last season, Lewandowski has already amassed 17 goals in just 12 league games while netting three more in other competitions.
Who is the GOAT in 2020?
In terms of goal contributions and trophies won this year, Robert Lewandowski wins the GOAT honour hands down.
He managed to outshine possibly two of the finest players the game has ever seen while also reinforcing his GOAT case in football's eternal debate.Published 24 Dec 2020, 10:14 IST