This is the first time Lewandowski has won the award, with Barcelona forward Messi or Juventus’ Ronaldo usually triumphing.
Lewandowski, 32, finished as the top scorer in the league, cup and Champions League
The Poland striker scored 55 goals in just 47 games last season as he helped German giants Bayern to a treble.
The winners were decided by nominations from national team captains and head coaches, an online ballot of fans and 200 media representatives.
Accepting the award, Lewandowski said:
“This really is something – Messi and Ronaldo have been playing at the highest level for years and now I’m rubbing shoulders with them. This means that all the hard work has paid off. I wouldn’t have achieved this without the team – they’re the ones who create the situations for me. It’ll take a while to absorb what I’ve achieved and I think I’ll struggle to get to sleep tonight. But I’m really happy. We’re all proud because it’s an award that recognises the whole team. To win an award after so many years as a Bayern player is really something special. It was a long time coming for the club. I hope that we can end up shaping an era in football. We’ve got good young players and we’re ready to step up and face big challenges and go on to win more titles. The team is functioning well and going in the right direction.
Regardless of how many titles I may have won, it’ll never be enough. I’m already looking towards the next trophies – that’s my mentality and the mindset of the whole team. Winning a title once is tough, winning it twice is even more difficult. I hope that we’ll be able to celebrate with our fans next year. It was quite simply a sensational year. Staying at the top is tough, but that’s what we want to do. I’d like to thank everyone in the coaching staff and all my team-mates – I could never have done it without them. It’s hard to find the right words. I’m very proud.
As a young player I always used to watch Ronaldo and Romario – they were the big names. Brazil always had great strikers and I learned a lot from watching them. I always used to follow whoever was wearing the yellow No.9, 10 or 11 jersey. I’d tell my 16-year-old self that you can always play well, regardless of where you’re from.”