Created on 17-01-2021 at 20:38 PM
Bayern are top of the table at the halfway stage for the 24th time - and the most prolific scorer in Bundesliga history in the first half of a season has played a decisive role in this: Robert Lewandowski gave the Munich team an early lead in the 2-1 win over SC Freiburg, and at the same time set a new record with his 21st goal of the season. Never before has a player scored so many goals in the first half of a Bundesliga season.
Praise from Flick and teammates
"It's an unbelievable [scoring] rate," marvelled team-mate Leon Goretzka. And coach Hansi Flick also joined in with words of praise: "What he did last year, but also this season, is already outstanding," said the Bayern coach, putting it simply but succinctly: "Robert is there up front to score goals. That's why we're really happy to have him."
The Polish forward's diligence to duty led to him surpassing Gerd Müller's previous goalscoring best of 20 goals in the first half of the 1968/69 season. For decades, the nation's former "Bomber" stood for unassailable goalscoring records in the German top flight, but Lewandowski has long been chasing Müller's milestones. The 1974 World Cup winner's 40 goals at the end of the 1971/72 season has yet to be matched even today, but the reigning World Footballer of the Year now has more than half of Müller's goal tally in that famous year - after less than half of the season.
Rummenigge believes a new record is on its way
"I always thought Gerd Müller's record would be an eternal record. I think if anyone could ever break it, it would be Lewy," said CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in a recent FC Bayern.tv interview. But everyone in Hansi Flick's team knows something like that is still a long way off. What counts is that Lewandowski has helped keep the record champions in first place in the table since Christmas with ten goal contributions in six Bundesliga games (nine goals, one assist).
"He’s on a very good run at the moment," emphasised Flick - and of course that makes the team happy as well as the coach. "Personally, I'm always twice as happy about his goals," revealed teammate Goretzka with a wink. According to his own statement, the midfielder uses Lewandowski in his fantasy football team. "I'm always the first to celebrate his goals, I’d love him to keep going like this," said the 25-year-old with a smile.
Lewandowski won 2020 Footballer of the Year: