Robert Lewandowski from FC Bayern Munich: The Perfectionist


First of all, the sober facts. Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski has become the top scorer of the 2019/2020 Bundesliga season with 34 goals this season. No foreign Bundesliga player ever scores in a season. Only Gerd Müller scored more than 34 goals in three seasons, for example in the 1970/1971 season when he scored 40 times in one season. Lewandowski scored the most goals of a season for the fifth time, only Gerd Müller trumped him with seven goalscoring cannons.
During the course of this season Lewandowski achieved:

  • 26 goals with your foot – more than any other Bundesliga player.

  • He headed the ball eight times – more than any other player.

  • No player converted more penalties than the Pole (five).

There is hardly any relevant goal scoring statistics that Lewandowski does not lead. He scored goals in every way imaginable. He put the ball with the hoe in the net and lipped over the goalkeeper. Against Schalke, he even circled a free kick from 25 meters into the left goal corner.

There is no facet of the striker game that the Pole does not master. Over the course of his career, he gradually added strengths to his game. He has never been able to call on these strengths as well as this season. There was one reason why he set his own goal record at the age of 31: his improved exploitation of opportunities.

Jürgen Klopp’s husband for the rough

Lewandowski’s Bundesliga career began exactly ten years ago. Borussia Dortmund had signed him from the Polish club Lech Posen. Almost forgotten today is the fact that Lewandowski started at BVB in the tens: behind Sturmspitze Lucas Barrios he was the man for the rough. His coach Jürgen Klopp appreciated his irrepressible enthusiasm, especially in the game against the ball Lewandowski was not too far. It was a perfect match for Klopp’s full throttle football with high pressing and aggressive counterpressing.

It was only after Barrios injured himself in the 2011/2012 season that Lewandowski became a regular striker. He immediately convinced with his force in the sprint into the box. Added to this was his technical finesse, which he had learned in his tens.
At the beginning of his career, he was particularly impressed with his speed. At the latest after his transfer to Munich for the 2014/2015 season, he continued to develop his game. Bayern’s coach Pep Guardiola continued to use him as a deep sprinter, sometimes even starting from the left wing. Lewandowski, however, increasingly intervened in his own build-up game, dropped, demanded balls.

The opponent never knows what he is doing

Lewandowski’s constant urge to develop made him one of the most complete strikers in the world. In the past ten years he has developed in all areas of football: he has become physically stronger, technically better, his sense of space in the penalty area is almost perfect.

Lewandowski shields the ball with his body, passes it on with a contact and then sprints into the box at high speed. It is hardly to be held for opposing defenders. You don’t know what he’s going to do next: will he drop? Does he start in the five-meter room? Does the flank come up or flat?
Once Lewandowski is on the ball, it is already too late. Out of the game, he scored nine goals with the first ball contact this season (header goals and penalty not included). It is also interesting: seven more goals are scored with the second touch of the ball. Each time he had presented the ball so perfectly with the first contact that he could free himself from his opponent and shoot on goal. His first ball contact is almost always flawless. This makes it difficult for his opponents to face him.

Exemplary for his tactical and technical class is his 1-0 goal against Werder Bremen, which brought Bayern the championship title. Lewandowski stole away at the right moment and sprinted behind the defense without running offside. He laid the half-high flank of Jérôme Boateng in front of his chest so that he could close it off with the second contact. A feast for the eyes.

That doesn’t answer the crucial question: Why did Lewandowski set his own goal record this season, after he “only” scored 22 goals last season? A look at the Expected goals-Value shows that Lewandowski’s performance hasn’t improved much at all. Of the Expected goals-Score evaluates each shot by a player based on the likelihood of a goal being scored. Last season, Lewandowski developed chances that should have led to 33 goals, according to From a purely statistical point of view, he should have scored around 31 goals this season. There were 34
To put it simply: Lewandowski does not create more opportunities than in the past. He’s just transforming her in cold blood. Lewandowski needs around four shots on goal (4.12) for one goal. That is a very good value. Only the two Dortmund attackers Erling Haaland with 2.61 attempts per hit and Jadon Sancho (3.12) have a better rate – and these values ​​are very exceptional.

It is noticeable that Lewandowski shoots the goal less often with force, but more often with finesse. Just before he finishes, he looks up. He looks where the goalkeeper is. During the shot, the eyes are always on the ball – so that it hits the ball perfectly.

This season Lewandowski was finally able to free himself from the reputation of being an opportunity death. Especially in his first years in the Bundesliga, he missed out on some top-class opportunities. It is hard to imagine how many goals Lewandowski could have scored in his career if he had always been as safe as he is today.

Lewandowski ranks third in the list of Bundesliga top scorers with 236 goals. During the course of the season, he overtook his former coach Jupp Heynckes (220 goals) and Manfred Burgsmüller (213 goals). Lewandowski scored 34 goals in the coming season, he overtakes Klaus Fischer (268 goals) in second place. Only Gerd Müller (365 goals) seems unreachable for the Pole.

On the other hand: Lewandowski’s contract with FC Bayern runs until 2023, then he will be 34 years old. And so far he’s always got better.
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