9 highlights! Why Lewandowski is the best No. 9 in the world

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The Best FIFA Men's Player, European Footballer of the Year, Golden Shoe winner, treble winner, and soon the 2021 Ballon d'Or winner? Robert Lewandowski can look back on a year that stands out even in his extraordinarily successful career. Before the Ballon d'Or is handed out on Monday 29 November, we've picked out nine standout matches and the corresponding stories which prove why the 33-year-old has been the best number 9 and the best player in the world in 2021.

1. 20/21: Two goals and an assist at Club World Cup - 8 February

The year 2020 will always be a special one for Lewandowski and his teammates because of the treble success. 2021 started no less spectacularly, though, as Bayern won the FIFA Club World Cup in Doha at the start of February to make it six titles in the space of 12 months. They could now say they were the most successful team in the club's 121-year history! And on the subject of records, Lewandowski picked up from where he left off in 2020 -- by scoring. Lewy netted a brace in the 2-0 semi-final win against Al Ahly -- one with his right, one with his head -- before then setting up Benjamin Pavard with his head for the winning goal in the 1-0 victory over UANL Tigres in the final, which sealed the sextuple.

2. 20/21: Hat-trick in Klassiker - 6 March

Lewandowski has not played against or scored against any club more than his former employers Borussia Dortmund. Twenty-four goals in as many games is a quite brilliant record, and the 33-year-old did his duty against the Black and Yellows in the top-of-the-table clash in early March with a hat-trick in the 4-2 win at home. The behind-closed-doors encounter was one of the highlights of the last title-winning season as Hansi Flick's men had to recover from an early 2-0 deficit. The victory on Matchday 24 secured FCB's lead at the top and moved them 16 points clear of BVB.

3. 20/21: Lewy show with 10 men - 20 March

Anyone who thought they'd seen it all as an FC Bayern fan used to success was put right on this Saturday in March 2021. After a red card for Alphonso Davies, Flick's side played 78 minutes with a man down against VfB Stuttgart on Matchday 26, but led 4-0 (also the final score) at half-time thanks to another Lewandowski masterclass and a Serge Gnabry goal. Four goals in one half with 10 men, and three from the Bayern goalscoring machine! The Pole scored a perfect hat-trick of right foot, left foot and header as he took his tally for the season to 35 goals -- a personal best for him and a tally only ever matched by one player: Gerd Müller. To be continued...

4. 20/21: Four goal involvements against the Foals - 8 May

After the Stuttgart spectacle, Lewandowski missed the next four Bundesliga fixtures as well as both legs against Paris Saint-Germain because of sprained ligaments. Would that put Lewy off his stride? You know the answer. In the 6-0 drubbing of Borussia Mönchengladbach, he scored for the eighth Bundesliga match in a row -- and did so three times, as well as an assist for Kingsley Coman. His second goal, a scissor kick, was simply unstoppable! The whole team's performance was masterful on the day that they celebrated a ninth straight Bundesliga title before kick-off in the catacombs of the Allianz Arena after nearest challengers RB Leipzig lost.

5. 20/21: 90th minute, 41st goal - 22 May

A goal for the history books. On this wonderful day in late May, Bayern didn't just receive their ninth Meisterschale in a row in their new, black and gold away jersey, but Lewandowski also crowned a season of records. In the 5-2 home win against FC Augsburg on the final Bundesliga matchday, The Best FIFA Men's Player finally poked in his 41st goal of the campaign in the 90th minute having missed several chances earlier on -- setting a record that may well never be broken! Lewy had equalled Gerd Müller's previous record of 40 in the previous week in the 2-2 draw at Freiburg, and paid tribute to *Der Bomber*with a "4EVER GERD" t shirt.

6. 21/22: New season, same Lewandowski - 17 August

Anyone who thought the record-breaking striker might relax a bit after his recent successes was left disappointed. In the DFL Supercup between cup winners Borussia Dortmund and league champions Bayern, Lewandowski again stood out in an impressive collective display and fired his team to a 3-1 success at Signal Iduna Park with two goals. The first trophy of the 2021/22 season was in the bag!

7. 21/22: Bundesliga top scorer on course to defend crown - 28 August

Lewandowski is currently on 14 goals after 13 matchdays and again leads the goalscoring chart by a clear margin. The 33-year-old scored for the 15th Bundesliga game running in the 7-0 win against Bochum on Matchday 5, although the biggest contribution to his tally came at home to Hertha BSC at the end of August, when the Poland captain netted three of the goals -- two with headers -- in a 5-0 success. Before the match, the striker was recognised as Germany's Footballer of the Year for the second time in a row.

8. 21/22: Prolific in the Champions League - 14 September

It's not just in the Bundesliga that Lewandowski, who was named European Footballer of the Year and The Best FIFA Men's Player in 2020, has been scoring at will. The Pole has also been in top form in Europe's premier club competition. In this season's opening match at FC Barcelona, he netted twice to make it 18 consecutive appearances in all competitions on the scoresheet. Bayern triumphed 3-0 at Camp Nou, but that was just the start...

9. 21/22 Top UCL goalscorer - 2 November

On 21 September at the Allianz Arena, the Warsaw-born forward received the Golden Shoe award as Europe's leading goalscorer in the 2020/21 -- and he proceeded to show exactly why with more dazzling displays in the Champions League. After a brace against Dynamo Kyiv and a strike at Benfica, he marked his 100th appearance in the competition with a hat-trick and one assist in the 5-2 win in the home match against Benfica. Lewandowski currently leads the UCL scoring chart with an impressive nine goal from five games following his stunning bicycle kick in the 2-1 win in Kyiv. Overall he now stands at 82 goals in 101 appearances -- the record of a world's best player!

Here are the most impressive stats from Robert Lewandowski's year:


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