“4EVER Gerd” applies and wobbles: Was that it now, Robert Lewandowski?

“4EVER Gerd” applies and wobbles
Is that it now, Robert Lewandowski?

By Tobias Nordmann

The matchday for Bundesliga history: Bayern Munich’s goal phenomenon Robert Lewandowski equalized Gerd Müller’s ancient goal record, but did not (yet) surpass it despite further good chances. About a striker who has transformed for success.

Whether it was an openly hidden clue that Robert Lewandowski is holding back from now on. That he complies with Uschi Müller’s request. At this point you need a very brief indication of who Uschi Müller is. She is the wife of Gerd, from the legendary “Bomber”. And Uschi has been in great demand in the past few days. It was about the record of the century that Gerd had set in the 1971/72 season. He had scored 40 goals. Not a single penalty. He had spread his 40 goals over 34 games. He completed all of them over 90 minutes. It was a season for the ages. And that eternity grew longer with every year.

And it still lasts. Even if it’s been a shared eternity since this Saturday. Because Robert Lewandowski, who like Müller once played for the big FC Bayern, is now also at 40 goals. Because he was injured in between, he spread his hits over an impressive 28 games. He scored seven of them with penalties. The seventh was now that of the set record. Almost a little too banal for this historic moment in the 1st Bundesliga. The fact that no fans were allowed to be in the stadium – the Munich team visited SC Freiburg on this 33rd match day (2: 2) – is probably the bitterest punchline of this moment. After all, because the people of Breisgau will move to the new arena next season, this moment has another historical dimension. You just have to take what you can get.

Well, back to the beginning. Was it an openly hidden hint that Lewandowski gave immediately after the goal when he lifted his jersey and sent an emotional shirt greeting to Müller, who was seriously ill with dementia? “4EVER Gerd” was written under the portrait of the young Müller. So 4ever is also a record? Well, Uschi Müller would like that very much. She had almost implored “Sport Bild”: “Dear Robert Lewandowski, 40 goals are enough!” There are two indications that the Pole is fulfilling the wish of the bomber’s wife: Against Freiburg, the Munich team’s goal giant missed two extremely splendid chances for the sole record. Once Mark Flekken was allowed to prove himself well-mannered, another time the striker stumbled in a way that raises the question: Was that really Robert Lewandowski? Small spoiler in front of the numerous contributions that are now being produced: Yes, it was Robert Lewandowski.

Was that really him?

Meanwhile, two indications speak against the fact that it will stay with “4EVER Gerd”: Lewandowski still has a game to make himself a solo legend. It’s good to be a record man in your own stadium, that’s probably actually a little nicer than in the Black Forest. And against Freiburg, he did not pick up the threatened fifth yellow card, i.e. the ban for the season finale. That would have been the case, for example, if he not only lifted his jersey in greeting, but pulled it over his head. Well, the professional Lewandowski doesn’t know anything. And he is nothing else, a professional, a legend, a world footballer.

He picked up this title in mid-December last year. Virtually, of course. Is (and was) still Corona. It was the culmination of what he’s been doing for years. It was the reward for an outstanding path that he had taken when he switched from Lech Posen to the Bundesliga as a young but already reliable goalscorer in the 2010/21 season. On the big stage. To BVB. They were already sure at that time that they had signed (a) a man who had the “ability to be a very good striker” and (b) with whom they “will have a great time”. After a debut season as the Joker behind Lucas Barrios, this prophecy came true. Impressive. In 187 games for BVB, he scored 103 goals. His most notable game for Black and Yellow, perhaps of his career, was on April 24, 2013, when he showed Real Madrid 4-1 with four goals.

The next step followed a year later. Like so many Borussia players before him, he went to Bayern. Since then he has played 328 games and scored 293 goals for him. Incidentally, 65 preparations are also still in his performance data. And yet, his career was always accompanied by a violently nagging accusation: For years, Lewandowski had to be reproached for not being seen when it comes to the big titles, when the champions are made. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the eternal duelists for the crown of the best footballer within twelve months, actually had Lewandowski long ahead of them. However, this was also due to the fact that their national teams played more often in big finals – both at the club level and at the national team level. With Poland, the FC Bayern striker couldn’t keep up internationally.

All doubts cleared away in one season

By his last season at the latest, he had cleared all doubts. Even if he hadn’t scored himself in the Champions League final, in the 1-0 win against Paris St. Germain. Kingsley Coman had done that. But the coronation, the second triple in the glorious club history of FC Bayern, would not have been possible without Lewandowski. The Pole contributed 55 goals in 47 games throughout the season (2019/2020). This made him the best shooter in the league, the DFB Cup and the Champions League. But not only that: FC Bayern was so successful because Lewandowski has changed to perfection.

The striker was once considered an egoist. Success, so it worked and so it was accused, was always linked to his personal luck. Lewandowski was considered a soccer-playing solo company. For example, when he narrowly missed the title of best scorer in the Bundesliga in the 2016/17 season, namely by one goal (at that time, Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang won with 31 goals), he subsequently counted his teammates. In the “Super Express” he said of his anger: “Maybe I felt that way because I was not completely satisfied with the way the team supported me. Immediately after the last game I was angry, I was disappointed with my team.”

In addition, the debates about his future were repeated almost every summer: FC Bayern, it seemed, is not good enough for Lewandowski, Real Madrid or FC Barcelona should rather be. For this he also launched interviews that were not at all well received in the club. But now that’s all history. FC Bayern and Lewandowski are a perfect unit. The striker hits, prepares and works hard as the foremost pressing player. He does not allow himself to be distracted from his title focus even by bizarre circumstances such as the dispute with his ex-advisor. Lewandowski delivers. 40 goals now. Is there any more good? Uschi Müller has to tremble for another 90 minutes.

The “bomber” would not be offended by Lewandowski if he took “his” record away from him, Uschi Müller is “one hundred percent sure” of that. Her husband, who lives peacefully in his own world in a home, “has no feelings of envy,” she says. “He would not whine if he lost the record. He would be the first to congratulate, who would say, ‘Good done, boy. You’re awesome ‘. “