If 2020 was the year Robert Lewandowski finally received worldwide acclaim, then 2021 has been all about cementing a legacy as a Bayern Munich legend.
Following an unforgettable year where he won his first UEFA Champions League title and beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to The Best FIFA Men’s Player award, Lewandowski has set his lofty sights on the Bundesliga’s most esteemed goalscoring records. With a goal in a 3–1 win against Werder Bremen on Saturday, Lewandowski moved into second place on the all-time Bundesliga goalscoring list, alongside former Schalke striker Klaus Fischer with 268 career league goals.
The goal on Saturday means that Lewandowski is looking up to just one other illustrious Bundesliga goalscorer: Bayern legend Gerd Müller. While Müller’s Bundesliga record of 365 career goals in 427 games seems impossible to reach, the 32-year-old Lewandowski is closing in on another Müller record that was once considered untouchable.
Averaging a goal every 64 minutes, Lewandowski has recorded 32 league goals in just 24 matches this season, well on pace to shatter Müller’s Bundesliga single-season record of 40 goals set in 1972.
Coming off a 15-goal Champions League campaign last year that was just two shy of Ronaldo’s 2013-14 single-season record, Lewandowski has only four UCL goals to his name this season, a figure he will look to remedy against Lazio in the round of 16 second leg on Wednesday.
Check out the latest news and notes from the soccer world on Saturday:
• In a scoreless draw with Leeds, Christian Pulisic received his first Premier League start under Thomas Tuchel, who has yet to lose in 12 games as Chelsea manager. The American winger played 68 minutes on the right wing rather than his more natural position on the left, even falling into a right-wing-back role at times.
• Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha became the first Premier League player to refuse to take a knee in the pre-match anti-racism demonstration. Said Zaha, an Ivory Coast international, in a statement: “I feel kneeling has just become a part of the pre-match routine and at the moment it doesn’t matter whether we kneel or stand, some of us still continue to receive abuse.”
• Karim Benzema kept Real Madrid in the La Liga title race with a second-half comeback to remember. The French international scored two goals in the last 20 minutes, including a 91st-minute winner, to send the defending champions into second place, five points behind Atlético Madrid.