Flick vows Bayern must give Lewandowski every chance to challenge 'role model' Muller

By Sports Desk January 22, 2021

Robert Lewandowski has his work cut out to match Gerd Muller's Bundesliga goals record but Bayern Munich will do all they can to make it happen, Hansi Flick has said.

Muller hit 40 goals for Bayern in the 1971-72 season, a mark that is firmly in the sights of Lewandowski after he began the campaign with 22 goals in Bayern's first 17 games.

Speaking ahead of Bayern's trip to face Schalke on Sunday, in a clash of the top and bottom teams in the German top flight, Flick spoke of how he used to idolise the legendary Muller.

As leaders Bayern pursue a ninth consecutive Bundesliga title, the prospect of Lewandowski challenging Muller is drawing plenty of attention, and Flick indicated the team would love it to happen.

"Gerd Muller was my role model," said Flick. "Unfortunately, I've never scored as many goals as he did, I wasn't as lethal, maybe at the beginning in the youth teams.

"He was a striker who was always ready to accept balls outside the box and you could combine together with him. He was wonderful in front of goal.

"For Robert to have scored more goals than him in the first half of the season shows his quality and that the team keep supporting him to end up in situations where he can score goals.

"I think about the 1-0 against Freiburg, which was a genius attacking move via Serge Gnabry and Thomas Muller, who immediately passed the ball to him. Their alignment was perfect.

"We all know, and Robert knows this too, that a lot of things need to be in place to continue like this. We're working on it.

"We have to support Robert and he is important to the team. He has certain tasks within the team and if he does them well, it is easier for the team to assist him at goalscoring.

"I would wish he could manage 40 but Gerd Muller is really something special."

Muller is suffering with Alzheimer's disease and is said to be living in a nursing home.

"We all know how Gerd Muller is doing, that also makes you sad," Flick said.

Bayern will face a Schalke team who are showing flickers of life at the foot of the table, and who brought Klaas Jan Huntelaar back to the club this week from Ajax.

Huntelaar, at the age of 37 and ready to retire at the end of the season, has rejoined Schalke because he could not bear being unable to help them in the battle to avoid relegation.

He previously had a seven-year spell with the club and, much like Lewandowski, has a proven nose for goal.

The veteran Dutch striker could have a role to play this weekend, with Schalke coach Christian Gross saying on Friday: "I think that Klaas Jan will be part of the squad against Bayern. He's a good option for the bench."

Related items

  • Dortmund-bound Rose aims to stop Haaland hurting Monchengladbach Dortmund-bound Rose aims to stop Haaland hurting Monchengladbach

    Marco Rose is plotting to stop one of the players he will have at his disposal next season when Borussia Monchengladbach come up against Erling Haaland and Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal.  

    Rose will be leaving his role as head coach of Monchengladbach at the end of the season to take charge at Dortmund, though still has a chance of signing off with a trophy.  

    With Bayern Munich already knocked out, the quarter-final clash offers a chance for both clubs to move a step closer to silverware. 

    Haaland will be hoping to get one over his future boss in the competition before they join forces, provided, of course, the prolific Norwegian does not depart Signal Iduna Park in the next transfer window.  

    The 20-year-old striker has 27 goals already in the current campaign, including 17 in as many starts in the Bundesliga. Rose, however, hopes Monchengladbach can prevent him adding to that tally on Tuesday.  

    "Of course there are options to stop him," Rose told the media ahead of the last-eight tie. 

    "I don't think you can completely stop him for 90 minutes, but you can look after him and control him in many situations.   

    "He is a forward who is very good at transition. He has a good feeling for deep runs and is a very dynamic player.   

    "He is very clinical in the box and we need to defend him well there. We have to stop him when he starts his runs, but it would be even better to destroy Dortmund's build-up, so we can bring out our strengths on the pitch."

    Dortmund head into the fixture having won three on the spin under caretaker boss Edin Terzic, suggesting they are rounding into form at an ideal time in what has been a see-saw campaign. 

    After Monchengladbach in midweek, BVB have a trip to the Allianz Arena on Saturday to take on league leaders Bayern. 

    Rose will be determined to lead Dortmund to success in 2020-21 but insists there will be no mixed emotions when he comes up against them, making clear his focus right now remains fully on his job at Monchengladbach. 

    "There is nothing to say. It's not a topic at all," he said of the prospect of facing his future employers.  

    "The job here is very demanding and I need all my energy here. I need to make the best out of it together with the boys, that means a cup quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund."

  • Real Madrid 1-1 Real Sociedad: Late Vinicius leveller does little to alleviate pressure ahead of derby Real Madrid 1-1 Real Sociedad: Late Vinicius leveller does little to alleviate pressure ahead of derby

    Vinicius Junior salvaged a point for Real Madrid late on in Monday's 1-1 draw at home to Real Sociedad, though the result does little to alleviate the pressure ahead of this weekend's potentially vital derby clash with Atletico Madrid. 

    Zinedine Zidane's men looked to be heading towards a defeat that could have delivered a devastating psychological blow ahead of arguably their biggest game of the season, but Vinicius spared them near the end. 

    The hosts had the better of the first half and should have led when Mariano Diaz – again deputising for the injured Karim Benzema – inexplicably hit the frame of the goal, and La Real were emboldened by that as Portu gave them the lead with 55 minutes played. 

    That looked destined to be the winner and potentially the goal that ended Madrid's dwindling title hopes, yet Vinicius got them back on level terms with a minute left, albeit they still end the matchweek a further two points adrift of leaders Atletico.

    Madrid somehow failed to take the lead in the 23rd minute, as Mariano nodded Lucas Vazquez's chipped cross against the crossbar from point-blank range, with Marco Asensio hammering agonisingly wide a few seconds later. 

    La Real goalkeeper Alex Remiro then proceeded to frustrate the hosts, first blocking a Ferland Mendy effort with his foot before parrying Luka Modric's attempt just before the interval. 

    The champions were made to rue their profligacy early in the second period, La Real working the ball well to Nacho Monreal on the left and his inch-perfect cross was met by a wonderful Portu header that picked out the top-far corner. 

    They should have made it 2-0 soon after but Alexander Isak could not reach Portu's squared pass, and Madrid subsequently wasted a glorious chance of their own – Casemiro heading off target. 

    Madrid did eventually restore parity as Vinicius turned in Vazquez's low cross in the dying stages. Still, they remain five points adrift of Atletico having also played a game more. 

  • Red Stripe back among sponsors signing on to Jamaica Premier League Red Stripe back among sponsors signing on to Jamaica Premier League

    Professional Football Jamaica (PFJ) have secured two additional club sponsors and a category sponsor for the upcoming season of the Jamaica Premier League, powered by Digicel.

    The club sponsors are Kemtek Development & Construction and ConserveIT Limited, who were both announced at a recent press signing at the Jamaica Pegasus. Also back on board is former title sponsor, Red Stripe, who join the fold as a category sponsor. Red Stripe remains the “official beer of the Jamaica Premier League”.

    These recent agreements bring the total number of sponsors to 13 as ConserveIT, Kemtek and Red Stripe join Digicel, SportsMax, Yummy Bakery, JMMB, Jamaica Producers, Indies Pharma, Wata, Tru Shake, Burger King and Mount Pleasant Academy as sponsors.

    The Premier League seeks to get underway with applications submitted to the Ministry of Sport and the ODPEM for consideration. The club sponsors will be assigned to their respective clubs prior to the start of the season.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.