Lewandowski requires groin surgery, confirms interim Bayern boss Flick

By Sports Desk November 05, 2019

Robert Lewandowski requires groin surgery but is yet to decide when he will have the operation, interim Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick has confirmed.

German publication Kicker reported on Monday that Lewandowski could go under the knife during the international break, with Poland having already secured their place at Euro 2020.

The 31-year-old striker has been in sensational form for Bayern this season, scoring 14 goals in 10 Bundesliga appearances and 20 in 16 outings in all competitions.

Flick, who was charged with taking charge of the first team following Niko Kovac's dismissal in the wake of Saturday's 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt, confirmed Lewandowski is struggling with a groin issue but is yet to set a date for an operation.

"We were a bit surprised to read that in the press but it's true. He has problems but he doesn't have pain," said Flick at a news conference to preview Wednesday's Champions League meeting with Olympiacos.

"He'll need to undergo surgery at some point, but he will talk to our medical staff. He will think carefully about interrupting his current spell.

"It's his decision and we will respect it because he's a super-important player for us. We will have to wait and see when it makes sense and he'll miss the least amount of games."

Flick confirmed he would play Thomas Muller and Javi Martinez against Olympiacos and used his first training session on Tuesday after the players returned from a day off to work on the defence.

"The goals we have conceded recently have not been Bayern-like. That's what we have to focus on," said Flick.

"We practiced a couple of things we want to see changed and the team did a really good job. I can't change everything – 90 minutes is not enough to change a whole team, but it's about the attitude and maybe changing one or two things tactically, emphasising one or two things differently.

"I want the team to be active and taking the initiative. We need intensity in defence when we are with and without possession.

"Since I've been here I've been fascinated by the talent in the squad. They have enormous potential to perform and we're not seeing enough of that."

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    Scrutiny of Joachim Low's decision to drop Muller, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels from his Germany squad last year has been under intense scrutiny following their 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Spain in November.

    Low became only the third Germany manager to concede six goals in a match after Otto Nerz and Sepp Herberger, with his team now having won just three of their past eight fixtures.

    Muller has enjoyed a resurgence since being cast aside by Low, supplying a Bundesliga record 21 assists as Hansi Flick's side took the title as part of a treble in 2019-20.

    The 31-year-old scored twice during Bayern's entertaining 3-3 draw with RB Leipzig at the Allianz Arena on Saturday, salvaging a point that stopped Julian Nagelsmann's side displacing them at the summit.

    Asked about a return the national team, Muller told Sky: "That's a topic that is very far away for me. I'm trying to help the team I'm on the field with.

    "You can talk about it as much as you like. I'll stick with it and then we'll see what happens.

    "The DFB decided [to keep Low on as coach], so all Germans have to stand behind this decision and do everything to ensure we get things going again.

    "And with Joachim Low, we are going to get things going again."

    After Christopher Nkunku's opener, Muller added to Jamal Musiala's equaliser to put Bayern in control against Leipzig.

    However, Justin Kluivert and Emil Forsberg turned the match around again, with Muller's second in the 75th minute only enough for a point.

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    "I lost too many balls today. Of course I'm happy and satisfied – you don't always score two goals," said Muller.

    "We know that we can come back from behind. In the end we have to live with the draw."

    All three Bayern goals were set up by Kingsley Coman, earning the winger special praise from Hansi Flick.

    "There are few others in his position who have his quality," said Flick.

    "We have to be satisfied [with the result]. It was important that we didn't lose. It was a wild game.

    "We generally have to improve as a team. I don't criticise individual players."

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    Robert Lewandowski has hailed Lionel Messi as one of football's greats, suggesting it could be another century before a player of his quality comes along again.

    Lewandowski led Bayern Munich to a domestic and European treble last term, scoring a remarkable 55 goals across all competitions.

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    With the Ballon d'Or not being awarded for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lewandowski has at least been nominated alongside Messi to be named The Best FIFA Men's Player.

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    "I know that he also wants to win it!" Lewandowski said. "It is logical. It's our job."

    Lewandowski also paid tribute to Argentina great Diego Maradona, who passed away last month.

    "A great sadness. The news was very ugly," Lewandowski said. "That a player as fabulous as Maradona has left is very sad for all of football.

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