Robert Lewandowski was handed the captain’s armband for the first time in his Bayern Munich career as Die Roten advanced to the quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal with a 3-2 win over Hertha Berlin at the Olympiastadion. Lewandowski wasn’t on the score sheet himself, but he put in a solid shift and provided the assist for Kingsley Coman’s winner in extra time.
Despite the Polish ace having yet another strong season, ex-Bayern Munich and Liverpool player Dietmar Hamann had criticized his attitude earlier in the week (via ESPN), saying that he was “turning into a problem for Bayern.” Lewandowski didn’t take too kindly to the unprecedented criticism and labelled it as “stupid” when speaking to reporters after the big win in Berlin:
I am always focused on my job. And cup games are always difficult to play. We won that match. And I am not interested in what someone says about me. Even more so if that’s just flat-out stupid. I don’t think [Hamann] knows much about tactics.
Lewandowski’s already got the numbers to back it up this season, too, having already scored 24 goals and provided 9 assists. As it stands, only Eintracht Frankfurt’s Luka Jovic (14 goals) and Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus (13 goals) are ahead of him in the race for the Torjägerkanone as he’s netted 12 league goals himself.
Club president Uli Hoeness and manager Niko Kovac also praised how well their number 9 has been performing this season and the positive attitude he’s continuously shown (via kicker). Hoeness said, “Robert has totally changed and has become a real Bayern player.” Kovac echoed Hoeness’s affirmation by saying he’s “absolute leading figure” and “an extended arm of the coach, like Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller.”
Lewandowski may have been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid last year as he attempted to take the next step in his career, but there can be no denying Lewandowski’s commitment to Bayern this season. His work rate has been relentless, he’s still scoring goals at an impressive rate, and he shows belief in the rest of his teammates. He had every right to blow off Hamann’s comments in the fashion he did.
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