Lewandowski 'the best striker in the world' as he matches Bayern legend Muller

By Sports Desk May 15, 2021

Hansi Flick and Thomas Muller both lavished praise on Robert Lewandowski after the Bayern Munich striker equalled a longstanding Bundesliga record.

Lewandowski converted a first-half penalty to open the scoring in the champions' 2-2 draw with Freiburg on Saturday, taking his tally for the season in the competition to 40 goals.

The Poland international now sits level with the great Gerd Muller for the most scored in a single Bundesliga campaign - and he still has one more game to go to move clear of the Bayern icon.

Flick feels the feat demonstrates just why Lewandowski is the best striker in the world right now, albeit his achievement would not have been possible without the efforts of the entire team.

"Robert had his most successful season last year - he won the treble with the team and the FIFA Men's Player Award," the Bayern boss - who will bring an end to his hugely successful reign next weekend - said.

"Now he has matched Gerd Muller's historic record. But that is always due to the performance of the team, they have to provide the opportunities.

"In the last few years, you would never have believed that the record would fall. But a lot is possible in football.

"Right now, Robert is the best striker in the world. We'll have to wait and see what comes next. The competition has to decide how long he will have his record."

Lewandowski had two glorious opportunities to add to his tally in the second half at Freiburg, including scuffing an attempt from point-blank range straight to goalkeeper Mark Flekken.

Muller believes the uncharacterstic misses demonstrated how his team-mate is human after all, but made it clear the 32-year-old deserves his place among the club legend.

"It's hard to classify because it's kind of normal with Lewy," Muller said.

"He didn't just do it for one season, he has scored a huge number of goals in recent years. That's crazy.

"He had two huge chances even today. He's only human too, but one who is very, very good in front of goal.

"I can't put it in this historical context because I'm there myself. Gerd Muller helped make this club with his goals to where we are now.

"The club grew up through such players and that Lewy has now placed himself on that level, you can only tip your hat to that. The team has granted him that and appreciates what he does."

Lewandowski will hope to make it to 41 when Bayern host Augsburg in Munich in the final round of Bundesliga fixtures.

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    Robert Lewandowski will definitely not leave Bayern Munich in the next two years, according to the German champions' president Herbert Hainer.

    The prolific striker was crowned Germany’s Footballer of the Year for 2021 last week after scoring 41 Bundesliga goals to break Gerd Muller's long-standing single-season record.

    His 48 goals in all competitions were the most scored by any player in Europe's top five league in 2020-21, followed by Kylian Mbappe (42) and Erling Haaland (41).

    Lewandowski has netted 294 goals in 329 appearances overall for Bayern since joining from domestic rivals Borussia Dortmund in 2014, including 203 in 219 league games.

    But the 32-year-old has been linked with a move away from the Allianz Arena this transfer window, with Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City all reportedly interested in striking a deal.

    However, new boss Julian Nagelsmann recently said he is not bothered by the speculation and president Hainer has reiterated Lewandowski is going nowhere while under contract until 2023.

    "Firstly, in my opinion, Lewandowski is the best striker in the world. We are so happy that we have him in our team," he told Goal.

    "He still has two more years on his contract. He will definitely play those with Bayern Munch. I said it already a few weeks ago – I could imagine him staying with us for even longer. 

    "He will honour his contract. He will definitely play the next two seasons here at Bayern Munich."

     

    Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland has previously been touted as a possible replacement for Lewandowski, but Bayern are not currently in the market for a new striker.

    "As I said, Robert will definitely be here for the next two seasons with Bayern. Then we will look for a successor," Hainer said.

    Joshua Kimmich is another valuable Bayern player who has two years to run on his existing deal, while Manchester United-linked Leon Goretzka is set to become a free agent at the end of 2021-22.

    Both players returned to training this week after being given an extended break following their Euro 2020 exertions and talks over fresh terms will soon commence.

    "As you know, they went on holiday after the European Championship," Hainer said. "They were back yesterday in the training sessions.

    "Now we have time to talk to them. And hopefully, within the next week, we will find agreements with them."

    Bayern play their third friendly of pre-season on Wednesday with a home match against fellow Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach.

    Nagelsmann's men then face Napoli before beginning their 2021-22 campaign with a DFB-Pokal tie against lower-league opposition Bremer SV on August 6.

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    ROUND-UP

    - Chelsea have opened talks with Sevilla about potentially signing French centre-back Jules Kounde, according to The Guardian. The 22-year-old has a release clause worth €80m (£68.4m).

    - Arsenal have enquired with Inter about star forward Lautaro Martinez, reports the Telegraph. It is believed Inter may be willing to sell the Argentina striker for €90m (£77m).

    - Eurosport reports that West Ham are interested in a move for Manchester United defender Phil Jones who has struggled with injury in recent times.

    - Newcastle are closing in on a deal for Arsenal's Joe Willock, and it could be finalised  within the next 48 hours after his loan stint last season, claims Mail Online.

    - Liverpool may sign Wolves' Spanish winger Adama Traore in a cut-price £30m deal, according to the Star.

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