Two months ago, we at BFW voted Robert Lewandowski as the season’s Most Outstanding Player. It seems like Bayern fans all over the world shared the same sentiment, as Lewandowski was voted Bayern’s official Player of the Season on fcbayern.com, garnering a whopping 51% of the votes, well ahead of second-placed Alphonso Davies (16%) and third-placed Thomas Muller (13%).
It really doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Bayern Munich was filled to the brim with outstanding players this season, but if you had to pick one man, chances are Lewandowski would have been your go-to. Let’s take a fond look at his records, shall we?
Surprisingly enough, this was the first time that Lewandowski had scored Bayern’s first league goal of the season since he came to Munich five years ago, with players like Thomas Müller, Xabi Alonso, and even Niklas Süle being lucky enough to register Bayern’s season opener. This past season, however, it was Lewandowski who got on the end of Serge Gnabry’s cross to fire Bayern into the lead against Hertha Berlin, and it was also Lewandowski who secured Bayern a point from the spot with his side a goal down in the second half.
After bagging a brace on opening night, Lewandowski continued his magisterial scoring run with a hat trick against Schalke 04, followed by goals against Mainz 05, RB Leipzig, 1. FC Köln, TSG Hoffenheim, FC Augsburg, Union Berlin, Eintracht Frankfurt, and Borussia Dortmund before finally coming to a stop against Fortuna Düsseldorf on Matchday 12. Until then, Lewandowski had scored a whopping sixteen goals in eleven straight games, just six short of his previous season’s total.
Although Lewandowski went on a brief goal drought for three matches, he was soon back in business and scored three goals in Bayern’s last three league matches of the year. A minor surgery did little to impede the Pole as he started the new year by scoring another penalty against Hertha. He tied his previous tally only four matchdays later against Köln, and kept on scoring until an unlucky knee injury sidelined him in March.
The COVID-19 pandemic, however, gave him time to recover, and he returned with the team in May, scoring Union Berlin (again from the spot) in the first game back against, and going on to score eight more goals in six games for a grand total of 34 goals. He thus got himself into joint-fourth place for most goals in a single Bundesliga season, having scored one-third of Bayern’s 100 league goals.
Unsurprisingly, he ended up as top scorer for the third year in a row and was voted the Bundesliga player of the season.
Not only did Lewandowski score Bayern’s maiden league goal of the season, he did the same in the Pokal when he fired his side into the lead against Energie Cottbus. Although he went scoreless in the dour 2-1 second-round win over Vfl Bochum, he soon got back to his old ways by bagging a brace against Hoffenheim in the round of 16.
His aforementioned knee injury meant that Lewandowski was unavailable for the 1-0 quarterfinal win over Schalke, but he came back for the semifinal against Frankfurt and succeeded in avenging his team’s Pokal final defeat two years ago by scoring the winner.
In the final against Bayer Leverkusen, Lewandowski was as prolific as usual, scoring from a fierce 25-yard drive and a delicate chip, assisted by Manuel Neuer (yes, you read that right) and Ivan Perisic. Lewandowski thus became the Pokal’s top-scorer for a third consecutive year and successfully defended the trophy as well. He has now scored in three straight Pokal finals and has recorded a brace in two straight ones.
UEFA Champions League
If that wasn’t enough to impress you already, Lewandowski had a stellar Champions League season as well. He opened his scoring account against Crvena Zvezda on Matchday 1 and added two to that tally in the now infamous 7-2 demolition of Tottenham Hotspur a few weeks later.
He also scored thrice in two games against Olympiacos, and stunned the world by scoring four times in fourteen minutes in the return leg against Crvena Zvezda. It may have been a slight step down from his five-in-nine record, but it was still impressive.
Lewandowski was an unused substitute for Bayern’s final game of the group stage against Tottenham (which Bayern won regardless), but he still finished the group stage with ten goals. In comparison, FC Barcelona scored only nine goals in the group stage as a team.
The Pole then proved his worth again when he was involved in every single goal of Bayern’s 7-1 aggregate rout of Chelsea, scoring thrice and assisting four times. In the final-eight tournament in Lisbon, he assisted Thomas Müller’s opener in the quarterfinal before heading in his side’s sixth goal in the 8-2 demolition of Barcelona. A few days later, he scored another header to put Bayern up 3-0 against Olympique Lyon.
Although Lewandowski failed to score in Bayern’s 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the final, he was still undoubtedly Bayern’s most impressive player in the tournament. Having scored fifteen goals, he is now tied for joint third for most goals in a single Champions League season with Cristiano Ronaldo. What’s more, he scored those fifteen goals in just 887 minutes, in comparison to Ronaldo’s fifteen in 1170 minutes.
Conclusion: Bayern Munich have the best striker in the world
What a season it has been for Lewandowski. Just two years ago, people were writing him off as a “farmer’s league striker,” even when he was scoring goals left, right, and center. Now, however, Lewandowski has proven his doubters wrong by recording his highest scoring season yet, sweeping up the top-scorer title for every competition he played in, and delivering his team a continental treble.
To put it into simple numbers, Lewandowski has scored 55 goals in 47 games, averaging 1.17 goals per game. Bayern Munich as a whole have scored 159 goals this season, which means Lewandowski has scored a staggering 35% of his team’s goals.
Not only has he impressed fans by scoring tons of goals, but Lewandowski has also impressed by becoming a much more versatile player. Under the tutelage of Hansi Flick, Lewandowski has morphed from a classic no. 9 striker into an all-round attacking player. Of course, he starts every game at the top of the team’s formation, but you would be mistaken if you expect Lewandowski to stay there for ninety minutes. He frequently switches positions between the flanks and the center, and presses the opponent hard when he doesn’t have the ball. He also puts in a lot of defensive work, sometimes coming all the way down to his own penalty area to help out in defending. In doing so, he opens up spaces for his teammates while drawing opponents away, creating more opportunities and making his team a lot more flexible.
Likewise, Lewandowski has been constantly growing and evolving as a player, and now he has the achievements to prove it. It is safe to say that Lewandowski fully deserves the title of “best striker in the world.” In this context, it is probably unsurprising that he was voted Bayern’s player of the season. One would be hard pressed to find anything bad among his actions this season.
Well, except for his brief venture onto TikTok during quarantine. But hey, nobody’s perfect — or is he?