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Five-goal feat

Lewandowski enters Guinness Book of Records

A left-footed finish from six yards. A precise long-range shot. A deft follow-up. A crashing drive from a central position. And the crowning glory, a volleyed scissors-kick. The grin on Robert Lewandowski’s face grew wider and wider as his goals were replayed one more time. “It’s worth watching again and again,” the Bayern striker smiled. His five-goal haul against VfL Wolfsburg on 22 September earned him a place in the Guinness Book of Records and on Monday, 69 days after the event, he received the official certificates.

Yes, certificates in the plural: the 27-year-old took home a total of four, for the fastest hat-trick (in 3:22 minutes), fastest four-goal haul (5:42 minutes), fastest five-goal haul (8:59 minutes) and the most goals ever scored by a substitute in the Bundesliga. “It was wonderful evening for me, historic too. It’ll always stay with me, and many fans will remember it too,” Lewandowski observed.

The Pole started the match “in a bit of a bad mood,” he recalled: Robert had only just shaken off an ankle injury and began on the bench, although he revealed that Pep Guardiola had spoken to him beforehand: “You’ve got to be ready. It could be a tough game.” And it was, with FCB trailing 1-0 at the break. Guardiola duly sent Lewandowski into the fray.

Ball, boots, certificates

Lewandowski still cannot quite grasp what then followed between the 51st and the 60th minutes. “Someone up there wanted me to score five,” he said, revealing that he was unsure how to deal with the remarkable events afterwards: “I didn’t have time to review what I’d just done, even after the game. My wife, family and friends were more pleased than I was. I didn’t really realise what had happened.”

However, Robert did have the presence of mind to claim a match ball as a souvenir. “I’ve found a place for it at home, and now I need somewhere for the certificates,” he said. His boots from the evening in question will be auctioned for his charity foundation. “I don’t know whether anyone else will manage it. The timing has to be right: luck, top form and the game,” mused Lewandowski, who intends to thank the rest of the team by inviting them for a meal. “Maybe we’ll find time in the winter break. I didn’t play Wolfsburg on my own. The records belong to the whole team.”

Otherwise, Lewandowski has already consigned his five-goal feat to history. The goals have kept on coming for the Pole, who is in a three-way fight for the Bundesliga’s top scorer crown with Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (17 goals) and team-mate Thomas Müller (13). “You need at least twice as many goals to finish top scorer,” insisted the striker, whose tally currently stands at 14. His hunger is undiminished: “I always want more.”