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Karl-Heinz Rummenigge downplays suggestions that Robert Lewandowski is unmotivated at Bayern Munich

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Rummenigge says the rumors are nothing but nonsense.

Bayern Muenchen v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Semi Final Leg One
MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 25: Robert Lewandowski of Muenchen looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League Semi Final First Leg match between Bayern Muenchen and Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena on April 25, 2018 in Munich, Germany
Bayern Muenchen v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Semi Final Leg One MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 25: Robert Lewandowski of Muenchen looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League Semi Final First Leg match between Bayern Muenchen and Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena on April 25, 2018 in Munich, Germany
(Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

Robert Lewandowski was heavily criticized for his lackluster performance in leg 1 of the Champions League semi-finals against Real Madrid, in which Bayern Munich lost 2-1 at the Allianz Arena. With all of the transfer rumors regarding a potential move to Madrid that have cycled throughout the season for Lewandowski, his subpar outing also prompted a one-on-one talking to from manager Jupp Heynckes. There were suggestions that his efforts in Bayern’s training sessions leading up to the Madrid match lacked intensity and motivation.

Ahead of leg 2, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge rubbished the suggestion that Lewandowski lacks motivation and backed the striker’s incredible goal-scoring record for Bayern this season (via Bild):

I find this discussion ridiculous. This year alone, he has scored 39 goals [ed.: 28 in the Bundesliga, 5 in the DFB-Pokal, 5 in the Champions League, one in the Supercup]. We are glad that we have him. He’s a goal-machine.

FC Augsburg v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga
AUGSBURG, GERMANY - APRIL 07: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge looks on in the stands during the Bundesliga match between FC Augsburg and FC Bayern Muenchen at WWK-Arena on April 7, 2018 in Augsburg, Germany.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge looks on in the stands during the Bundesliga match between FC Augsburg and FC Bayern Muenchen.
(Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Although his scoring tally for the season is quite impressive, Lewandowski has failed to find the net in any of Bayern’s last four Champions League matches—his longest ever drought in the competition for Bayern. His last goal in the Champions League came in Bayern’s 5-0 thrashing of Besiktas in the round of 16, a match in which Lewandowski scored twice and provided an assist. Recognizing Lewandowski’s Champions League goal drought, Rummenigge referenced a Bayern legend who had a similar problem in the past going through goalless patches:

Even Gerd Müller had eight or ten games when it didn’t work. Then come games where you score two, three times. I hope that Robert has such a day tomorrow.

Lastly, both Rummenigge and club President Uli Hoeness are looking forward to a positive second leg in Madrid and are expecting big performances from the players in the squad:

Rummenigge:

We are feverishly anticipating the second leg, against the best team in the world, that has won the Champions League three times since 2014. [Real Madird is] indisputably the benchmark in world soccer.

Hoeness:

I won’t talk about individual players, but I expect a good performance by our team and, in the end, victory, as well.

Full squad list of the players who traveled to Madrid for leg 2, featuring David Alaba’s amazing sunglasses: