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OFFICIAL: Bayern Munich announce sale of Robert Lewandowski to FC Barcelona

It’s over. It’s finally finally over.

Lewandowski keeps his eye on the ball at full sprint as he charges down the left flank, with Barcelona’s Gerard Pique bearing down — December 8, 2021, Champions League Group Stage
Changing sides.
Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

It’s official. As confirmed by Herbert Hainer, Bayern Munich have agreed to terms with FC Barcelona on a deal that will see legendary striker Robert Lewandowski finally get his dream La Liga transfer. A saga that began in May and has gone through turn after twist is finally over.

In the end, there would be no late third-party swoop, nor a final encore with the German record champions. Instead, the record-setter is now jet-setting away on a reported €45m + 5m — handsome but by no means exorbitant — in time to settle preseason plans for both clubs.

A look ahead

Now player and clubs alike are free. Bayern have already landed Liverpool forward Sadio Mané, who so far is everything any football fan could want to see in a player. Mané showed how effective he could be playing centrally last season, and he’s every bit a bona fide superstar. He could be the Bundesliga’s most exciting entry in years. He’ll get his shot from day one to bring his own flavor to the No. 9 spot at Bayern.

Lewandowski, likewise, won’t have to re-integrate into a locker room he himself made potentially awkward with some choice comments this offseason. Instead, he’ll join Barça on their own USA tour.

As for his new club? Well, perhaps there’s still a few more players to either throw money at or force out of the club. But coach Xavi Hernández looks the real deal and the superstar striker’s arrival promises a fruitful partnership.

A glance back

Let’s be clear, though, this is a massive change. The Robert Lewandowski era was one in which Bayern enjoyed — perhaps took for granted — outrageous goal production year in, year out. Who could forget the time he came off the bench to score a whopping five goals in nine minutes to sink Vfl Wolfsburg to the bottom of the ocean?

Or the year — 2021 — in which he broke Gerd Müller’s 49-year old Bundesliga scoring record?

Or the improbable way in which he scored the record-breaking 41st goal, in the last minutes of the last Matchday, tapping home after a slugfest in which every bounce thus far had gone against him?

Lewandowski earned outstanding individual and team accomplishments over eight wonderful years here — not least of which are the perfect league titles record and the 2020 Champions League trophy. His partnership with Thomas Müller — you know, Thomassist Müller? — has been the stuff of legend. He will be as singularly irreplaceable as the glories of this run in Bayern history are unforgettable.

But like flames to dust, LewanGOALskis to friends, all good things must come to an end.

The club will move on — Bayern always do. For head coach Julian Nagelsmann, it’s back to the drawing board, which the X’s and O’s man should relish. Likewise for the remaining players on the roster, as well as the new ones who may yet arrive, it’s a thrilling opportunity.

And for the departing Lewandowski, it’s a chance to conquer the highest footballing mountains all over again — in another league, for another team.

Neuer, Müller, and Lewandowski flanked by their Bayern teammates at the trophy celebration in May 2022
The end of an era.
Photo by Thomas Hiermayer/vi/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Farewell, Robert, and thanks for everything.

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