Opinion

Lewandowski in Bundesliga history books despite falling just short of Gerd Muller’s feat

By finishing the season as the Bundesliga’s top-scorer, Robert Lewandowski has cemented his place in German football history as the first player outside Germany to top the charts on three occasions.

With Bayern players’ minds firmly set on the beach and their holidays after the league title was already secured, Lewandowski could not add to his tally of 29 goals on the last game of the season. Indeed, it was a rare heavy defeat for Bayern who went down 4-1 at home to Stuttgart.

Not that this made a difference to Lewandowski’s firm grip as top-scorer in the league. Indeed, after the Pole striker’s 29 goals, Freiburg’s Nils Petersen finished second in the charts with 15 goals, nearly half of the Bayern forward’s total.

Such dominance in terms of striking firepower is further illustrated by the fact that Lewandowski managed 56 shots on target over the course of the season. Petersen, in contrast, managed 24, and Hoffenheim’s Mark Uth only had 22, yet he scored 14 of those.

Playing in a team which is so dominant and with creative midfielders such as James Rodriguez and Arjen Robben behind him, means Lewandowski’s job is made so much easier than other team’s strikers.

His goal-to-shot ratio is not as good as other strikers, but he has been the champions’ main source of goals. After his 29, Sandro Wagner and Thomas Muller were second in the Bayern scoring charts with eight each. The heavy reliance on the Polish international is highly evident, and the club will be desperate not to sell him to the likes of Real Madrid, whose financial muscle always makes this a real possibility.

Perhaps, it would make sense for Lewandowski to seek a new challenge having won six Bundesliga trophies, two German cups and being the league’s top-scorer on three occasions. Being able to prove himself in La Liga or the Premier League would be the next challenge to prove he is truly the world’s best forward right now.

He has already ensured he will be remembered as a legend of the Bundesliga, having become the first non-German player to finish as top-scorer on three separate occasions. If we were to look at the Premier League, a foreign player has finished as the Golden Boot winner on 17 occasions. In the Bundesliga, the Polish forward’s efforts have stood out.

Since its inception in 1992-3, only Thierry Henry as an overseas player, and Alan Shearer, have finished the season as Premier League top-scorer on three occasions. Given the calibre of these two players, it is a testament to Lewandowski’s prolific nature in front of goal to achieve a similar record, albeit in a different league which has not attracted nearly as many global stars.

Nevertheless, Lewandowski’s achievements have been tremendous. He agonisingly fell one goal short of Gerd Muller’s mark of three consecutive 30-goal campaigns. Despite this, 29 goals in 30 league games reflects another colossal season for one of the hottest strikers on the planet.

Next step is the World Cup where he will be hoping to compete for the Golden Boot in Russia. Given his form, the whole nation of Poland will have their hopes pinned on their prolific goal-getter.