Robert Lewandowski did what Robert Lewandowski loves to do on Tuesday: score goals. In Bayern Munich’s Champions League group stage match against Red Bull Salzburg, the Polish striker scored a penalty to pull his side level, and headed home a Javi Martinez cross late in the second half to seal the win.
Not only did Lewy win the game, he also won a ton of hearts, this time with an emotional gesture on Instagram. He paid homage to former Bayern striker and legend Gerd Müller, whose 75th birthday just happened to fall on the day of his former club’s victory in Austria.
“The scale of what you achieved drives me to work every day to at least come a bit closer to your greatness,” wrote Lewandowski. “Stay strong, King Gerd.”
Müller is sadly suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and according to his wife Uschi, is “sleeping toward the end of his life” in a nursing home, where she visits him daily.
However, his achievements as a Bayern legend will never be forgotten. He scored a whopping 565 goals for Bayern, including 365 goals in the Bundesliga, a league record that is still yet to be broken. He also holds the record for most goals scored in a single Bundesliga season (40), and set a world record for most goals scored in a season with 66 in 1972-73, which was not broken until 2011-12 when Lionel Messi scored 73.
Müller also was the European Cup top scorer four times, and played a huge role in Bayern’s European three-peat from 1974 to 1976. His scoring form was not just limited to club level, as he scored 13 World Cup goals as well, including the winner in the 1974 final against the Netherlands.
Müller now has a proud successor in Lewandowski, who is also writing pages and pages of his own record books. It is heartwarming to see that talent recognizes talent, with the current best striker in the world paying homage to the former greatest striker in the world.
It will be a tragic day when King Gerd finally passes away, but his spirit will forever live on in the club, as Lewandowski demonstrated with his post. I, for one, believe that Gerd was with us when we beat Salzburg tonight, and that’s why we suddenly scored four times in the last ten minutes.