Hermann Gerland on Lewandowski, Fischer & Co.
Robert Lewandowski could very well make his next entry into the Bundesliga history books on Saturday. With 267 goals to his name, the 32-year-old is just one strike away from joining Klaus Fischer (268) in second place in the Bundesliga's all-time scorer list. One person who knows both forwards very well is Bayern assistant coach Hermann Gerland. In an interview with fcbayern.com ahead of the clash with Werder Bremen, the Tiger talked about the best goal-scorers in Bundesliga history.
Hermann Gerland: The interview
fcbayern.com: 31 goals in 25 games this season - given Lewandowski's current form, it won't be long before he catches up with Klaus Fischer...
Gerland: "It's an incredible performance and shows once again that Lewy is absolutely world-class, he wasn't voted Best FIFA Men's Player by chance. Klaus was an excellent footballer, a world-class striker with incredible pace who was impressive in the air. I played against him and later I coached him at VfL Bochum. The fact that Robert is now on the verge of catching up with him simply proves once again what outstanding qualities he has. Since Lewy has been in Germany, he's shown what an incredible goal threat he is."
Historical comparisons are difficult - but would Robert Lewandowski have scored more or fewer goals in the eighties than he does today?
"That's difficult to judge. Besides the style of play and tactics, the rules have also changed compared to the past. That's why comparisons between the past and the present are very difficult."
Fischer played his last Bundesliga game at the age of 38. How long do you think Lewandowski can continue playing?
"Lewy is in terrific shape and very rarely gets injured. He'll certainly be able to keep playing for a few more years."
Would it then even be possible for him to overtake Gerd Müller (365 goals) as the best Bundesliga goal-scorer of all time?
"(laughs) The 100 goals Lewy would need for that is quite a lot."
Is the season record of 40 goals possible?
"At the rate he's scoring right now, it's definitely doable. But we still have some difficult games ahead of us and scoring nine goals in ten games is a tall order."
Is Lewandowski currently the best striker in the world?
"With no ifs or buts! He scores the most goals and won the vote."
Gerd Müller, Klaus Fischer, Robert Lewandowski, Jupp Heynckes - how is it that former defender Hermann Gerland, of all people, ended up working closely with the greatest Bundesliga strikers of all time during his career?
"Nobody knows (laughs). Fischken was at Bochum back then when I became coach. Jupp was often my opponent and then made sure I switched to FC Bayern in 1990. I spent some wonderful years with him here, of course. In Munich, I also met Gerd Müller, whom I used to admire because he was incredible. The greatest of them all - he was my assistant coach with the reserves for a long time later on. Gerd was unimaginably good as a player, as a goal-scorer. Overall, as a person, as a footballer he was unique! All of them are wonderful people in their own way and I'm delighted every time I meet them."
If you want to know more about the game at Bremen, check out our facts and stats: