Robert Lewandowski’s performance against Eintracht Frankfurt in the DFL-Supercup was nothing short of brilliant. The showing was also exactly what Bayern Munich fans needed to see from their star striker after a his much publicized transfer saga.
As the transfer drama surrounding the Polish Hitman dragged on from January to August, Lewandowski’s production took a turn downward. With the need to perform on his shoulders, Lewandowski pressed and came up small both in the Champions League semifinals against his “dream club” and at the World Cup, where Poland was one of the bigger — but not the biggest — disappointments in the tournament. There was also the late season blowup with club legend Jupp Heynckes that left many Bayern fans annoyed with their star striker.
If ever there was a player paving his way out of town, it was Lewandowski. As the Pole seemingly played “I want you to want me” with Real Madrid, the masses in red stewed. Where was his focus? Where was his commitment to the kit he was wearing?
None of that matters now. Lewandowski isn’t going anywhere for at least another season. If Sunday’s performance tells us anything, it is that RL9 has moved on from any hard feelings he may have had last season and returned with a renewed, laser-like focus on showing the world his talents and his willingness to fight for his place in the limelight.
Taking his brand to the next level at Bayern
For a player so obsessed with his personal brand, Lewandowski seems to be oblivious to the fact that he can spark his evolution from player to brand in Bavaria. Bayern may not have a flotilla of fanboys that Real Madrid enjoy, willing to jump ship on whoever the post-CR7 idol will be, but the Bavarians can offer Lewandowski a rabid and loyal fan base, an unending string of sold-out games, a weekly audience in the United States, major coverage from nearly every important news outlet worldwide, and a full cast of teammates who actually don’t mind making him the focal point of everything — even when he can sometimes be a jerk.
Simply put, Lewandowski can achieve his goals while wearing the home red — and even the away mint green. Lewandowski is a truly dynamic presence that commands attention on the pitch and needs neither Madrid nor Paris nor London to make his name known. He has the reigning six-time German champion and the power of its global marketing machine behind him. If Lewandowski wants to expand his brand, he can give the viewers on Fox a reason to watch.
If healthy — and there reportedly are reasons to think that Lewandowski was battling an Achilles ailment over last season — the Pole could be poised to deliver the kind of performance that gains him even more supporters.
The man on the marquee
For all the frustration and exhaustion the fan base felt during “Lewy Transfer Fest ‘18,” the one thing on which nearly all Bayern supporters can agree is that the man can produce.
Thomas Müller may be the Bavarian home boy, James Rodriguez may have the most passionate fan base, and Mats Hummels may be the social media star; but when it comes time to put a name on the marquee, that honor goes to Lewandowski.
Now it is Lewandowski’s turn to earn that top-billing by helping this squad embark on a quest for a treble. Look at the team’s depth and survey the top contenders for the Champions League. There is almost no reason to think that Bayern won’t be right back in the mix — only this time with a focused and driven “9” leading the way.