Robert Lewandowski famously scored five goals in just nine minutes for Bayern Munich against Wolfsburg five years ago today.

The Poland international achieved the astonishing feat on September 22, 2015 in a match that ultimately finished 5-1 to Bayern.

A half-time substitute, Lewandowski's heroics ensured Bayern came from behind to thrash Wolfsburg at the Allianz Arena.

Here, we look at the story behind one of the finest moments of Lewandowski's career.

WHAT HAPPENED

Then a 27-year-old, Lewandowski was introduced at half-time and fired in a four-minute hat-trick before adding two more in a breathless spell from Bayern.

Bayern had started the game on the front foot, but Wolfsburg stunned the home fans on 26 minutes as Daniel Caligiuri fired in emphatically following Julian Draxler's pass.

Pep Guardiola's side struggled to break through a resilient away defence and they almost found themselves two down when Josuha Guilavogui hit the post from inside his own half, with Manuel Neuer stranded.

But the half-time arrival of Lewandowski turned the game on its head as he became the first substitute to score five times in a Bundesliga match, leaving Wolfsburg shellshocked.

THE FIVE GOALS

With things not looking good, Guardiola threw on Lewandowski and the change paid dividends almost immediately, with his first arriving on 51 minutes. 

Thomas Muller was denied by goalkeeper Diego Benaglio after a fine team move involving Mario Gotze and Arturo Vidal, but Lewandowski was on hand to poke the ball home on the rebound.

The Poland striker put Bayern in front just a minute later, lashing the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

He then sealed a stunning four-minute hat-trick - the fastest in Bundesliga history - as he prodded in after initially hitting the post after being set up by Muller.

Wolfsburg were completely rattled and Lewandowski helped himself to a fourth in the 57th minute as he turned in Douglas Costa's cross with a crisp strike.

But the former Borussia Dortmund man saved his best for last in the 60th minute - a sensational acrobatic volley which flew past Benaglio and left Guardiola speechless on the sidelines.

IT COULD HAVE BEEN SEVEN

A combination of Benaglio and Ricardo Rodriguez on the goal-line only just stopped Lewandowski from scoring again in the closing stages.

There was another chance too - former Bayern defender Dante blocked another Lewandowski effort inside the area as the champions cruised to victory.

The win put Bayern three points clear at the top of the table and they went on to win the title by a margin of 10 to nearest challengers Dortmund.

After the match, Bayern defender Philipp Lahm said Lewandowski could, and perhaps should, have added to his total after the initial five-goal heroics.

Lahm said: "At half-time a player came in who did a little something. It was incredible. Just madness. And he had two more chances, so he should have gone home with seven goals."

WHAT HE SAID

Immediately following the match, Lewandowski admitted it was an "incredible" feeling to score five goals in just nine second-half minutes and did not realise at the time how quickly his goals had come.

"I am very satisfied, that was incredible," he said. "I just wanted to shoot, I didn't really think what will happen afterwards.

"Having been one down, we knew that we must improve and score twice at least. But five goals, that's incredible.

"I don't know how fast it was, but it was fast. But when you're on the pitch, you're just focused on football. I looked at the scoreboard, it was the 60th minute and I only thought: 'Ooh.'

"Guardiola didn't need to say anything, I know what I have to do on the pitch."

Lewandowski was asked to compare the game to Dortmund's 4-1 thrashing of Real Madrid in the 2012-13 Champions League semi-finals, in which he scored four.

"It was a very important game - that was a very big event in my life," he said. "Now five goals, that is a great night for me."

Reflecting on his performance the morning after, Lewandowski thanked fans on Instagram and apologised for not making himself available for requested media appearances due to Bayern's busy schedule.

Lewandowski described it as "an amazing evening for me", alongside a picture of himself with the signed match ball.

He insisted he was most glad to have helped the team and acknowledged messages of congratulations he had received from all over the world. 

WHAT THEY SAID

Speaking to reporters after the match, team-mate Jerome Boateng called Lewandowski one of the world's best strikers and was grateful he only had to compete with him in training.

Guardiola, meanwhile, who had been visibly baffled on the touchline, was left in disbelief, saying: "I've never experienced such a situation, either as coach or as a player.

"Five goals in nine minutes. I am very happy for Robert. You play poorly for 45 minutes and then grab five goals in nine minutes. I cannot explain it."

Wolfsburg boss Dieter Hecking was less thrilled but fared no better in attempting to explain Lewandowski's showing. 

He said: "What can I say? A world-class striker shot five times on goal and could have scored seven. That is how it happened.

"But with our quality this should not happen. We had a good first half and Bayern could not up the pace of the game and then came these nine minutes. It's inexplicable."

Wolfsburg midfielder Maximilian Arnold could only rue the defensive collapse from his side, adding: "We can't explain that, five goals in nine minutes. There is no reason to talk about it, it's just s***."

Lewandowski's agent Cezary Kucharski was thrilled with the impact the feat had on his client's market value, but all but ruled out a move to one of the Manchester clubs amid a flurry of increased transfer talk after the match.

"Games like the one against Wolfsburg immensely help a player increase his value," he said. "I have a plan for the rest of Robert's career in my head.

"Could that plan take him to Manchester? It's always raining over there. Munich is much more beautiful and a better place to live."

Kucharski suggested a move to Spain would be more appealing, but as we know he ultimately remained at Bayern, signing a lucrative new contract in December 2017.

That deal was extended with fresh terms in August 2019, tying him to the club until 2023.

THE BEST OPTA STATS

Since the start of the 2015-16 season - when Lewandowski's five-goal performance took place - there is only one player who has scored more goals than him in Europe's top-five leagues: Lionel Messi.

- Messi has netted 158 times, compared to a magnificent 146 for Lewandowski over that period.

- The Poland striker's total puts him above other greats like Cristiano Ronaldo (139), Luis Suarez (131), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (124) and Harry Kane (120).

How does Lewandowski's feat compare to other similar achievements?

- In Serie A, since 1986 there has only been one example of a player scoring five goals in a game, which was when Miroslav Klose did so for Lazio against Bologna in May 2013. That took him 40 minutes.

- Five players have done that during the Premier League era in England: Andy Cole, Alan Shearer, Jermain Defoe, Dimitar Berbatov and Sergio Aguero. Manchester City striker Aguero was the fastest, scoring his five in 20 minutes.

- No LaLiga player has scored five since 1960. Laszlo Kubala has the Spanish top-flight's record for the fastest five-goal streak at 19 minutes, as part of seven he scored in a 1952 match for Barcelona against Sporting Gijon.

- In Ligue 1, there has only been one occasion since 1984, which was Carlos Eduardo's quintet for Nice against Guingamp in October 2014. The French top-flight record for fastest five goals is held by Carlos Bianchi at 31 minutes, scored for Reims against Paris Saint-Germain in 1974.

- Lewandowski's nine minutes is the fastest in Germany and across the top-five leagues, though Luka Jovic emulated his haul three years later for Eintracht Frankfurt against Dusseldorf in October 2018.

- Those two feats were the only occasions of a player scoring five or more in the Bundesliga since 1991. The great Gerd Muller did it four times between 1972 and 1976.

Bayern Munich started the defence of their Bundesliga title in ominous fashion as a Serge Gnabry hat-trick helped them to a stunning 8-0 win over Schalke at the Allianz Arena on Friday. 

A mere 26 days after winning the Champions League, Hansi Flick's side showed no signs of tiredness and powered into a fourth-minute lead thanks to Gnabry's superb strike.

That was added to by Leon Goretzka after 19 minutes before Robert Lewandowski swept home a third from the penalty spot shortly after the half-hour mark.

Gnabry completed his hat-trick with two goals inside the opening 15 minutes of the second half before Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane - making his debut following his July move from Manchester City - and 17-year-old Jamal Musiala completed Schalke's humiliation.

Bayern started in blistering fashion as Gnabry controlled Joshua Kimmich's long pass over the top, turned away from his marker with a deft turn and whipped a superb left-footed strike past Ralf Fahrmann from 18 yards.

Flick's side bamboozled Schalke's backline with relentless pressure and the hosts were unsurprisingly undone again shortly before the midway point of the first half when Goretzka slotted home from the edge of the penalty area after being picked out by Muller.

Lewandowski - who scored 55 goals in all competitions last season - opened his account for the 2020-21 campaign from the spot in the 31st minute after he had been brought down by Ozan Kabak, while Niklas Sule crashed an effort against the post shortly before the interval.

Bayern started the second half like they did the first, Gnabry slotting into an empty net two minutes after the restart after Sane had pushed the ball past an onrushing Fahrmann.

Sane was the provider again after 59 minutes, teeing up Gnabry to seal his hat-trick from 10 yards, while an outrageous rabona from Lewandowski set up Muller to add a sixth in the 69th minute, the 31-year-old's side-footed volley squirming underneath Fahrmann.

Sane capped a fine display with his first Bayern goal two minutes later, slotting past Schalke's woefully exposed goalkeeper after being played through by Kimmich, while substitute Musiala scored his first Bayern goal nine minutes from time to complete the nightmare for Schalke.

There will be no 2020 Ballon d'Or due to the coronavirus pandemic, seemingly costing Robert Lewandowski his shot at the top prize.

While perennial contenders Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi each made relatively early Champions League exits last term, Lewandowski was the best player for the best team in Europe.

Bayern Munich won the treble, aided in no small part by an outstanding haul of 55 goals in all competitions from their number nine.

It was the best campaign of Lewandowski's career, yet there appears no reason to believe he cannot hit similar heights in the season to come as we use Opta data to reflect on a stunning year.


LIKE RONALDO... BUT BETTER!

Lewandowski brings plenty to the table, but above all he is a goalscorer - as he proved in 2019-20. The 32-year-old's 55 goals came from just 47 matches as he netted once every 75 minutes on average.

Rather than a feat of finishing, however, Lewandowski put on a movement masterclass, taking up goalscoring positions time and again. Of his 55 goals, 52 were scored from inside the area - including 33 of 34 in the Bundesliga, where he also dispatched each of his five penalties.

The Poland international only outperformed his expected goals value of 51.0 by four, yet the next highest xG in Europe's 'top five' leagues - Ronaldo's - was way back at 35.8.

Lewandowski was expected to score 1.09 goals per game, comfortably the only star averaging more than one a match in this respect, with Kylian Mbappe next on 0.82 xG per game

Ronaldo prides himself on his goalscoring tally in much the same way but hit the net 'just' 37 times, also putting him behind Lazio's Ciro Immobile (39), who was still a long way short of Lewandowski.


BEATING THE VERY BEST

Last term was actually the first season in Lewandowski's career in which he scored more goals than both Ronaldo and Messi (31). He has topped Ronaldo in consecutive campaigns, too.

Lewandowski is only a year younger than Messi but scored just nine times in the 2010-11 season as the Barcelona forward was tallying 53, tied with Ronaldo. The Bayern star - then of Borussia Dortmund - scored 30 the next season to start to close the gap yet still had a long way to go to reach his current standards.

Given his age, it seems unlikely Lewandowski will be able to extend his peak years over such a spell as the big two have, but he should certainly back himself to dominate in the coming season.

Lewandowski has a better, more settled team than Ronaldo, meaning there is little reason to doubt he can edge out that particular rival again. Meanwhile, partly due to Lewandowski's Bayern, Barca are in crisis, with Messi unhappy even as he sticks around for another season.

Other contenders will emerge, such as Mbappe, but the Paris Saint-Germain forward is already missing games in 2020-21 due to coronavirus and fluffed his lines against Lewandowski's Bayern in last season's Champions League final.

As Ronaldo and Messi enter the final stages of their careers and the next generation take time to hit the heights, Lewandowski looks primed to be the middle man as European football's statistical phenomenon and, perhaps, the world's best player.

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski cannot get any better so only needs to train to keep fit, according to RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann.

Lewandowski scored a career-best 55 goals in 47 games as Bayern won a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble last season.

The 32-year-old will be expected to play a key role once again as the Bavarian giants go in search of a ninth straight league title in 2020-21.

Nagelsmann believes Lewandowski is at a point in his career where he can simply focus on keeping himself fresh for the demands of the season, a luxury players at Leipzig cannot afford.

"With all due respect, Robert Lewandowski doesn't really have to train anything anymore," Nagelsmann told Mitteldeutsche Zeitung.

"He can do everything. He just has to train in such a way that he's fresh and ready for the weekend.

"In addition, we can no longer pick from the top shelf of internationally coveted young players. At this point, [Borussia] Dortmund and Bayern are ahead of us. Therefore, we will not be able to catch these teams if things go normally."

Leipzig finished third in the Bundesliga last season and, after losing attacking duo Timo Werner and Patrik Schick, Nagelsmann simply hopes his young squad does not go backwards.

"If we were fifth or sixth, it would be disappointing for everyone involved. I put this pressure on myself," he said.

"You have to take into account the performance gaps with young players. There will be point losses and you will find it difficult to get to the top."

Bayern will open the new Bundesliga season at home against Schalke on Friday, with Leipzig's first game against Mainz scheduled for Sunday.

Lionel Messi has retained his place at the top of Forbes' list of highest-paid footballers after earning $126million over the past year, with Cristiano Ronaldo closely behind him in second. 

The Barcelona superstar sent shockwaves through world football last month when he told the club he has spent his entire career at he wanted to leave after a trophyless campaign in 2019-20.

Messi believed he could use a clause in his contract to leave for free, but Barca and LaLiga disputed that claim and insisted his deal could only be terminated should his €700m release clause be paid.

Amid frustration with the Camp Nou board, Messi performed a U-turn and elected to stay with the embattled LaLiga giants for at least the 2020-21 campaign.

He does so as the highest paid footballer in the world after earning $126million in salary and endorsements over the past 12 months.

His long-time rival Ronaldo is second on the list after bringing in earnings of $117m. 

Paris Saint-Germain stars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are third and fourth respectively, with Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah in fifth place.

Making up the rest of the top 10 are French World Cup winners Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea.

 

Forbes' top 10 highest-paid footballers:

1. Lionel Messi - $126m
2. Cristiano Ronaldo - $117m
3. Neymar - $96m
4. Kylian Mbappe - $42m
5. Mohamed Salah - $37m
6. Paul Pogba - $34m
7. Antoine Griezmann - $33m
8. Gareth Bale - $29m
9. Robert Lewandowski - $28m
10. David De Gea - $27m

Robert Lewandowski believes he could play until the age of 40 after another outstanding season for Bayern Munich.

The Bayern striker scored 55 goals in 2019-20 to fire the Bundesliga giants to the treble, winning the Champions League for the first time in his career.

Lewandowski shows no sign of stopping and last week said his Bayern contract, which expires in 2023, "will definitely not be the last".

Indeed, at 32, Lewandowski told Kicker he will continue to play for "maybe eight years".

He said: "Ending my career at Bayern is an option, of course, but I still have so many years to go.

"I don't think about the end of my career.

"I don't feel like I'm 32. I feel better than when I was 26. I've worked very specifically in recent years to reach my optimal level."

Despite his sublime campaign, Lewandowski was disappointed to miss out on the European Golden Shoe, scoring 34 times in 31 Bundesliga games as winner Ciro Immobile netted 36 in 37 for Lazio in Serie A.

"I think it's a shame that we have four fewer games in the Bundesliga [34 to the 38 in Italy]," Lewandowski added.

"The competition would be fairer if everyone played the same number of matches. If we had 20 teams in the league, like in Italy, Spain, England or France, it would be more objective."

Joachim Low believes Manuel Neuer's Champions League final performance shows he would have deserved the 2020 Ballon d'Or ahead of Bayern Munich team-mate Robert Lewandowski.

France Football announced it would not present its annual award for the world's best player this year due to the coronavirus pandemic which halted some domestic competitions in 2019-20, including Ligue 1.

The decision has prompted suggestions Lewandowski has been harshly treated, having appeared the standout candidate to succeed Lionel Messi after his 55 goals fired Bayern to a stunning treble.

The striker, who was named Germany's Footballer of the Year, last week agreed he deserved the global honour.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge claimed earlier in August hope was not lost as FIFA had promised there would be a vote for the world's best player.

But Low, the Germany head coach, claims Bayern captain Neuer should pip Lewandowski to any award.

The goalkeeper was outstanding in the 1-0 Champions League triumph over Paris Saint-Germain, keeping Neymar and Kylian Mbappe at bay.

"Manu was in great shape throughout the 2019-20 season," Low told Kicker. "Manu is in a class of his own. Crazy, unbelievable.

"I have nothing against Robert Lewandowski - he is a top-class goalscorer - but, for me, the world's best footballer this year would be Manuel Neuer.

"What he has just done in this final round in Lisbon... He kept the door closed at the back.

"He had a very large role in winning the Champions League. Manuel was on hand in difficult situations against Lyon and Paris, otherwise it might be 0-1 or 1-1.

"You have the feeling that he is omnipresent."

Robert Lewandowski landed Germany's Footballer of the Year prize on Sunday as reward for his extraordinary season with Bayern Munich.

The award, voted for by leading journalists in conjunction with Kicker magazine, went to Lewandowski by a resounding margin.

He received 276 votes and Bayern completed a 1-2-3 in the awards as Thomas Muller pulled 54 votes to finish second, five votes ahead of Joshua Kimmich.

Bayern conquered all challenges before them in 2019-20, winning a domestic Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double before going on to triumph in the Champions League, beating Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in the final.

Lewandowski, 32, scored 55 goals across the season and becomes the first non-German winner of the award since Kevin De Bruyne took the honour in 2015 at the end of the Belgium midfielder's Wolfsburg stay.

The Poland international told Kicker: "I'm very proud of it. All the more because the expectations of me are getting higher and higher and I try to exceed them every year.

"The level is so high that 25 goals per season is considered normal in the Bundesliga. I worked hard for my performance and that of the entire team, which then played superbly, both nationally and internationally."

Robert Lewandowski has no plan to end his career, insisting he has every intention of playing at a high level beyond the expiration of his current contract.

Lewandowski scored a sensational 55 goals in all club competitions in 2019-20, as Bayern Munich swept up a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble.

The Poland star turned 32 in August and is on a contract with Bayern that runs until 2023, but he is adamant he will still be playing at the top of the game after that deal is up.

"First of all, my current contract will definitely not be the last. I intend to play at the highest level after 2023," Lewandowski told Onet and Przeglad Sportowy.

"I do not think about what I will do later. I'm not worried about my health and fitness, but I hope that mentally I'll be still at the right level and you won't get rid of me that quickly. 

"When I'm done playing, there will be many options, but I don't have specific plans. It depends on what my emotions tell me."

Lewandowski reached the Champions League final with Borussia Dortmund in 2013 but had not tasted success in Europe's elite club competition until he helped Hansi Flick's side beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in Lisbon on Sunday.

"I have been working for this success for 20-something years," Lewandowski said.

"We often only see the end result, but as a child I had dreams in which I strongly believed. Now, at 32, one of my greatest dreams has come true. 

"What we will win in the future will be perhaps not so much an 'addition' as 'something extra'."

Lewandowski scored in Bayern's 8-2 demolition of Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals – a result the striker acknowledged even came as a surprise to the Bavarian giants.

"We did not expect such a result," Lewandowski said. 

"Before the game, we knew we would beat Barca. Some even said it would be 5-1, but 8-2 is different. 

"Especially those last minutes were amazing when Barca knew there was nothing they could do, and we scored more goals. Those who came off the bench were hungry to score goals."

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski believes he would deserve the Ballon d'Or if the award had not been cancelled for 2020.

France Football confirmed in July that the prize would not be awarded due to the disruption of the 2019-20 season caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Lewandowski would almost certainly have been one of the favourites for the men's trophy this year, having scored 55 goals in all competitions to propel Bayern to a treble of Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League titles for the second time.

The 32-year-old insists the Ballon d'Or was never on his mind this term, but he thinks he would have been a worthy winner.

"I didn't think about it at all. I knew we still had the Champions League, then the Bundesliga restarted after the short break," he told Onet and Przeglad Sportowy when asked for his view on the award being cancelled.

"I knew my priorities. My focus was on the Champions League, not on any possible individual awards. The decision to cancel the gala was made in the middle of the year and the Ballon d'Or was to be staged in December. The deadline was too distant to occupy my mind."

When asked which player he would have given the award to, he replied: "Myself. We won everything there was to win. I won the award for top goalscorer in every competition. I think a player who achieves this would win the Ballon d'Or."

Bayern's 1-0 victory over Paris Saint-Germain saw Lewandowski win the Champions League for the first time in his career, something he admitted had been a childhood dream.

The Poland international was particularly emotional during post-match interviews but said the moment that truly touched him was when his wife sent him videos of family members reacting to the result.

"Until now, I was hiding emotions behind a thick shell, but the Champions League is every footballer's dream and I've believed all my life that I could fulfil it," he said.

"I was close many times, but something was missing, something was causing us to be knocked out early. Now that we'd won it, there was a childlike joy, something natural and spontaneous. I had no control over it.

"The most beautiful moment after the game was when I called my wife. She sent me videos of my loved ones crying with happiness. It was something amazing. It's what I will remember the most after many years."

While he has no plans to retire any time soon, one of Lewandowski's remaining objectives is to bring joy to Poland fans on the international stage.

"One of my dreams has now come true and I feel huge satisfaction," he added. "Another one is to make the fans of the national team proud of us. What exactly that means, I can't answer myself. I can't really describe it; I just want the fans to feel happy cheering us on."

The 2019-20 Champions League was ultimately lifted by the competition's most dominant team when Bayern Munich overcame Paris Saint-Germain at the weekend.

Kingsley Coman's second-half header to seal a 1-0 win was Bayern's 43rd of the season in Europe, securing an 11th victory from as many matches.

Unsurprisingly, Bayern players are very well represented in terms of the individual rankings for the tournament.

Drawing upon Opta data, we have a look at the highest goalscorers, the most prolific creators, the steadiest goalkeepers and more.

LEWANDOWSKI MATCHES RONALDO FEAT

Bayern's triumph was built upon the phenomenal goalscoring exploits of Robert Lewandowski, who became the second player in Champions League history to score 15 goals in a single campaign. Cristiano Ronaldo has accomplished the feat on three occasions.

The next generation was also handily represented, with Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland also into double figures, although eight of his haul came for former club Salzburg.

Top scorers
15 – Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
10 – Erling Haaland (Salzburg/Borussia Dortmund)
9 – Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich)
6 – Dries Mertens (Napoli)
6 – Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)
6 – Harry Kane (Tottenham)
6 – Memphis Depay (Lyon)
6 – Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

DI MARIA PREVENTS LEWANDOWSKI DOUBLE

Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria enjoyed a stunning semi-final outing against RB Leipzig, when he scored one goal and set up the other two in a 3-0 win.

That performance made the Argentina international the leading assist maker in this season's competition with six, pipping Lewandowski – who set up five goals for his free-scoring Bayern team-mates. The Poland superstar's 20 goal involvements overall was almost double the next best of 11 from Gnabry.

Joshua Kimmich set up Kingsley Coman's final winner with a magnificent cross and the Germany international created more chances than anyone else this season with 28, one more than Manchester City midfield maestro Kevin De Bruyne

Most assists
6 – Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain)
5 – Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
5 – Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
4 – Houssem Aouar (Lyon)
4 – Hakim Ziyech (Ajax)
4 – Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
4 – Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)
4 – Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)

Chances created
28 – Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
27 – Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
25 – Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)
24 – Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
21 – Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
20 – Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain)

THIAGO GETS DOWN TO THE DIRTY WORK

Few people will be surprised to learn that Bayern's silky playmaker Thiago Alcantara attempted the most passes in the competition by a distance – completing 90.9 per cent of his 832, significantly more than the 745 Kimmich racked up in second place.

However, the Spain international also ranked highly when it came to tackles and interceptions, showing even more of the qualities that have apparently caught the eye of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

Konrad Laimer topped the tackling charts – one of two Leipzig representatives in the top five -  while Borussia Dortmund's ex-Bayern centre-back Mats Hummels made the most interceptions.

Most tackles
38 – Konrad Laimer (RB Leipzig)
34 – Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich)
28 – Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid)
27 – Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax)
26 – Nodri Mukiele (RB Leipzig)

Most interceptions
30 – Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund)
23 – Wilmar Barrios (Zenit)
23 – Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich)
19 – Sven Bender (Bayer Leverkusen)
19 – Fabian Ruiz (Napoli)

NEUER A SAFE PAIR OF HANDS

Bayern captain Manuel Neuer was arguably their star performer in the final, with three pivotal saves. The 34-year-old appeared to be back to his brilliant best in Lisbon and his 28 saves were the fifth-best in the tournament.

Neuer's save percentage of 77.14 is higher than any other keeper in the top five, while he managed to outperform his expected goals on target conceded (xGOT) number of 8.4 by conceding six.

That amounts to a very solid return on that metric but was not enough for a place in a top five headed by Ajax's Andre Onana.

Most saves and save percentage
33 (72.73 per cent) – Peter Gulacsi (RB Leipzig)
33 (70.21 per cent) – Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray)
33 (62.26 per cent) – Milan Borjan (Red Star Belgrade)
29 (76.32 per cent) – Guilherme (Lokomotiv Moscow)
28 (77.14 per cent) – Manuel Neuer

xGOT goals prevented
5.3 – Andre Onana (Ajax)
4.1 – Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray)
3.6 – Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb)
3.3 – Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)
3.1 – Peter Gulacsi (RB Leipzig)

Robert Lewandowski would deserve the Ballon d'Or if the award were being given in 2020, former Portugal striker Nuno Gomes says.

Lewandowski scored a remarkable 55 goals in all competitions, including 15 in the Champions League, to propel Bayern to a treble of Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League triumphs.

France Football elected not to award the Ballon d'Or this year due to the disruption of the season caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Gomes believes that decision is particularly unfair on Lewandowski, who has spent the past 24 hours celebrating Bayern's 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League final.

"I think he deserves to [win] the Ballon d'Or if the prize were happening," Gomes, speaking at the Nissan UCL Final Watch Party, told Stats Perform News.

"He is a striker that is lethal if you're playing against him. You have to also keep an eye on him because, if you give him a little bit of space, he will score.

"One of the best strikers at the moment, for sure."

Kylian Mbappe, another future Ballon d'Or hopeful, endured a frustrating outing in Sunday's final in Lisbon and spurned an excellent chance to put PSG ahead in the first half.

Still, Gomes has no doubt the 21-year-old will become at least one of the top three players in the world.

"Mbappe has a lot of room to grow," he said. "I believe that, if things develop in his career normally, he will be one of the best players that the next generation will hear about for the next years.

"He has a lot of potential, he's a pure talent, he has speed, he decides the game sometimes. So, I think in the next years we will hear about his name in the top three footballers in the world."

The 2019-20 Champions League was ultimately lifted by the competition's most dominant team when Bayern Munich overcame Paris Saint-Germain at the weekend.

Kingsley Coman's second-half header to seal a 1-0 win was Bayern's 43rd of the season in Europe, securing an 11th victory from as many matches.

Unsurprisingly, Bayern players are very well represented in terms of the individual rankings for the tournament.

Drawing upon Opta data, we have a look at the highest goalscorers, the most prolific creators, the steadiest goalkeepers and more.

LEWANDOWSKI MATCHES RONALDO FEAT

Bayern's triumph was built upon the phenomenal goalscoring exploits of Robert Lewandowski, who became the second player in Champions League history to score 15 goals in a single campaign. Cristiano Ronaldo has accomplished the feat on three occasions.

The next generation was also handily represented, with Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland also into double figures, although eight of his haul came for former club Salzburg.

Top scorers
15 – Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
10 – Erling Haaland (Salzburg/Borussia Dortmund)
9 – Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich)
6 – Dries Mertens (Napoli)
6 – Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)
6 – Harry Kane (Tottenham)
6 – Memphis Depay (Lyon)
6 – Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

DI MARIA PREVENTS LEWANDOWSKI DOUBLE

Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria enjoyed a stunning semi-final outing against RB Leipzig, when he scored one goal and set up the other two in a 3-0 win.

That performance made the Argentina international the leading assist maker in this season's competition with six, pipping Lewandowski – who set up five goals for his free-scoring Bayern team-mates. The Poland superstar's 20 goal involvements overall was almost double the next best of 11 from Gnabry.

Joshua Kimmich set up Kingsley Coman's final winner with a magnificent cross and the Germany international created more chances than anyone else this season with 28, one more than Manchester City midfield maestro Kevin De Bruyne

Most assists
6 – Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain)
5 – Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
5 – Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
4 – Houssem Aouar (Lyon)
4 – Hakim Ziyech (Ajax)
4 – Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
4 – Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)
4 – Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)

Chances created
28 – Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
27 – Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
25 – Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)
24 – Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
21 – Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
20 – Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain)

THIAGO GETS DOWN TO THE DIRTY WORK

Few people will be surprised to learn that Bayern's silky playmaker Thiago Alcantara attempted the most passes in the competition by a distance – completing 90.9 per cent of his 832, significantly more than the 745 Kimmich racked up in second place.

However, the Spain international also ranked highly when it came to tackles and interceptions, showing even more of the qualities that have apparently caught the eye of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

Konrad Laimer topped the tackling charts – one of two Leipzig representatives in the top five -  while Borussia Dortmund's ex-Bayern centre-back Mats Hummels made the most interceptions.

Most tackles
38 – Konrad Laimer (RB Leipzig)
34 – Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich)
28 – Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid)
27 – Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax)
26 – Nodri Mukiele (RB Leipzig)

Most interceptions
30 – Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund)
23 – Wilmar Barrios (Zenit)
23 – Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich)
19 – Sven Bender (Bayer Leverkusen)
19 – Fabian Ruiz (Napoli)

NEUER A SAFE PAIR OF HANDS

Bayern captain Manuel Neuer was arguably their star performer in the final, with three pivotal saves. The 34-year-old appeared to be back to his brilliant best in Lisbon and his 28 saves were the fifth-best in the tournament.

Neuer's save percentage of 77.14 is higher than any other keeper in the top five, while he managed to outperform his expected goals on target conceded (xGOT) number of 8.4 by conceding six.

That amounts to a very solid return on that metric but was not enough for a place in a top five headed by Ajax's Andre Onana.

Most saves and save percentage
33 (72.73 per cent) – Peter Gulacsi (RB Leipzig)
33 (70.21 per cent) – Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray)
33 (62.26 per cent) – Milan Borjan (Red Star Belgrade)
29 (76.32 per cent) – Guilherme (Lokomotiv Moscow)
28 (77.14 per cent) – Manuel Neuer

xGOT goals prevented
5.3 – Andre Onana (Ajax)
4.1 – Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray)
3.6 – Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb)
3.3 – Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)
3.1 – Peter Gulacsi (RB Leipzig)

Bayern Munich concluded their dominant Champions League run with a 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain in Lisbon.

Kingsley Coman was the hero, netting a second-half header in a game light on goalmouth action – something fairly unrepresentative of Bayern's campaign as a whole.

From Hansi Flick's masterful stewardship of the team to Robert Lewandowski's goalscoring exploits, the Bundesliga champions were a team to strike fear into Europe's elite this season.

Here, with help from Opta, we have a look at some of the impressive numbers they achieved on the way to glory.

PERFECT SIX APPEAL

6 – Bayern are now six-time European champions, equalling Liverpool's achievement from last year. Only Real Madrid (13) and AC Milan (seven) have won the tournament more frequently.

11 – Going back to the start of the group stages, Bayern were victorious in all 11 of their Champions League matches in 2019-20. They are the first team to win every match on the way to glory.

8 – Eight of those matches came after Hansi Flick replaced Niko Kovac as head coach. The former Germany assistant has set a record for the most consecutive wins at the start of a Champions League career.

43 – The 43 goals scored across that winning run amounted to the second most prolific season in Champions League history, coming in behind Barcelona's 45 from 1999-00. Remarkably, it was two other Spanish teams – Real Madrid and Valencia – who contested that season's final.

34 – PSG also set a scoring record by netting in a 34th consecutive Champions League match when they defeated RB Leipzig in the semi-final. They must start again from zero next season after Manuel Neuer and his defence completed an impressive shutout.

500 – Kingsley Coman's decisive goal was Bayern's 500th in Europe's top competition, placing them behind Real Madrid (567) and Barcelona (517) in the overall scoring charts.

7 – That historic pedigree certainly seems to carry a degree of weight. PSG were the seventh consecutive first-time finalists to lose in the showpiece match.

BATTERING BARCA, RANSACKING SPURS

8-2 – Bayern's 8-2 victory against Barcelona in the quarter-final was the first time a team has scored eight goals in a knockout stage match in the Champions League.

8-2 – It was Barca's first defeat by six goals in any competition since April 1951, when they lost 6-0 to Espanyol. They last conceded eight when Sevilla scored that number without reply back in April 1946.

7-2 – Niko Kovac was still the man at the helm when Bayern thumped Tottenham 7-2 in London. It was the first time Spurs had conceded seven goals in a home match and the biggest margin of defeat for an English team at home in European competition.

KING LEWY

9 – Star striker Robert Lewandowski scored in nine consecutive Champions League matches leading up to the final. Only Cristiano Ronaldo has a longer run, with 11 goalscoring outings between 2017 and 2018.

15 – Lewandowski is the second player to score 15 goals in a Champions League season, with Ronaldo having done so three times.

4 – The Poland international is not the only man to have produced an impressive weight of goals. Serge Gnabry scored nine overall and he became the second German player to score four goals in a single Champions League match during the thrashing of Tottenham. Mario Gomez did likewise in Bayern colours against Basel in March 2012.

28 – The supply line is also crucial for such attacking talents and no player created more Champions League chances than the 28 laid on by Joshua Kimmich in 2019-20 – none more valuable than his sumptuous cross for Coman on Sunday.

Robert Lewandowski said "never stop dreaming" after the Bayern Munich star finally won his first Champions League title.

Bayern claimed their sixth European Cup/Champions League crown and completed the 2019-20 treble thanks to Sunday's 1-0 victory over Paris Saint-Germain.

Kingsley Coman's second-half header separated the two teams in Lisbon, where Bayern became the first team in European Cup/Champions League history to win 11 successive games.

It capped a memorable night for Lewandowski, who had never won the Champions League prior to the PSG showdown after losing the 2012-13 final against Bayern during his time with Borussia Dortmund.

Lewandowski – an eight-time Bundesliga champion who enjoyed a remarkable season with 55 goals in all competitions – revelled in the achievement, writing via Instagram: "Never stop dreaming. Never give up when you fail.

"Work hard to achieve your goal. Thank you for your support, for believing in our abilities. We are the Champions of Europe!"

While Lewandowski did not score against PSG, the Bayern striker was still crowned the Champions League's top goalscorer in 2019-20.

Lewandowski scored 15 goals for Bayern, five more than Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland as the Poland international fell just two shy of Cristiano Ronaldo's record.

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