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BFW postseason breakdown: Most Outstanding Player

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Robert Lewandowski started the 2019/20 season hot and never cooled off.

Crvena Zvezda v Bayern Muenchen: Group B - UEFA Champions League
Robert Lewandowski scored four goals against Crvena Zvezda in Belgarde, November 26, 2019.
Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Robert Lewandowski was outstanding — devastating for opposing teams — from the first matchday of the 2019/20 Bundesliga season to the last. He scored a brace in Bayern’s first game, against Hertha Berlin, and he finished the season with a goal against Wolfsburg on the last, in June.

After scoring against Hertha, Lewandowski proceeded to score at least one goal (but 3 against Schalke and 2 against Köln and Dortmund) in Bayern’s next ten games, setting two records: he became the first player in Bundesliga history to score in the first 11 matchdays, and in fact he became the first player at all to score in 11 consecutive games.

Lewy also scored against 16 of Bayern’s 17 Bundesliga competitors this season. The only team who escaped unscathed was Borussia Mönchegladbach. Bayern was unlucky the lose the first meeting in the Hinrunde (one of two losses under Hansi Flick), and Lewy was serving a suspension for accumulated yellow cards when Bayern faced Gladbach again.

Coach Flick recently said that Lewandowski should be a strong contender for the Ballon d’Or this year. “If you look at everything he has achieved, you should think about it. Why not someone from the Bundesliga for once?” Flick said “He meets all the requirements.”

Well, he certainly meets all the sporting requirements:

  • This season, Lewandowski scored 51 goals in 43 games, the best in Europe.
  • In the Bundesliga, Lewy has scored 34 goals in 34 games, that is his personal best league record. He has won the Torjägerkanone for the fifth time and for the fourth year in a row.
    As for the European Golden Boot, Lewy is rivaled only by Ciro Immobile, who has scored 29 goals for Lazio with 8 games to play (but just 32 total), and Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 28 (32 total).
  • In the Champions League, Lewandowski has scored 11 goals in the Champions League. It is unlikely that anyone will beat that number in the final rounds when the competition resumes. Erling Haaland had 10, but Dortmund is out of the competition, and his closest competitors after him have 6 goals — including his own teammate Serge Gnabry.
  • Lewandowski was also the top scorer in the DFB-Pokal, scoring 6 goals in all, including a brace in the final against Bayer Leverkusen.

Those are simply phenomenal numbers. Lewandowski’s 34 goals brought him level with Dieter Müller, who scored 34 goals with FC Köln in the 1976/77. Müller said of Lewandowski, “In my view, Lewandowski is one of the best and most complete strikers of the past decade and currently the best attacker period. He has extraordinary abilities.” Only Gerd Müller has scored more in a season.

And yes, Lewandowski still trains with the old-school header-pendulum. Here he is with poor Kingsley Coman:

All eyes will be on Lewandowski when the Champions League resumes. Whatever the outcome of the competition, which will be played in very unusual circumstances, it is undeniable that Robert Lewandowski has been the most outstanding player in a season of outstanding performances by several of his teammates.

If Bayern goes far enough, and certainly if the team wins it all, Lewandowski just might become the first Bundesliga player to win the Ballon d’Or since Matthias Sammer in 1996. The only Bayern players who have won the award are Gerd Müller (1970), Franz Beckenbauer (1972, 1976), and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (1980 and 1981).