Robert Lewandowski scored his 343rd goal for FC Bayern Munich in the 2-2 victory against VfL Wolfsburg and secured the top scorer for the seventh time. But much more important: The 33-year-old striker has publicly started a duel with his employer FC Bayern Munich.
Funny enough, when Robert Lewandowski appeared in FC Bayern’s jersey for Munich fans for the last time, Fliegerlied played in the Wolfsburg Arena. “And a plane flies by. Then I wave up to him: ‘Hello plane!'” Roared the Wolfsburg fans, who were happy for a 2-2 victory against the old, new and probably eternal champion.
Lewandowski has played for FC Bayern since 2014, and thanks to a series of Oktoberfest visits, he is certainly familiar with the catchy text of “Fliegerlied”. While humming along, he might be thinking of his own departure from FC Bayern, the plane to which he not only wants to say “hello”, but which he would like to board as soon as possible: namely the road from Munich, according to reports, preferably to FC Barcelona.
The football match between Wolfsburg and FC Bayern, which ended 2-2, fell completely into the background on Saturday afternoon. On the one hand, it was due to the table constellation: For both teams, it was no longer about something, FC Bayern has been champions for three weeks. Above all, however, it was due to the development around the team’s most dangerous striker for years that publicly challenged his employer to a duel after the pilot’s song was put off.
Lewandowskis and FC Bayern: There will be a winner
“It is very possible that it was my last match for FC Bayern,” Lewandowski announced on the streaming platform Viaplay. He personally confirmed what had been rumored in Munich for days – and came at the same time with a very steep announcement. The decision on whether he will still play for FC Bayern next season is by no means in his hands.
Lewandowski is contractually bound until 2023, his employer would have to accept an early departure. On every occasion, however, he refers to all senior executives to ensure that this working paper is properly complied with. Sports director Hasan Salihamidzic reiterated before the match in Wolfsburg: “Our position is clear.” No sign of a “completely possible” goodbye.
Just as unequivocally as both sides in Wolfsburg communicated their views on the situation, one thing is certain: in the end, there will be a winner and a loser in this duel. If FC Bayern do not tighten the driver’s seat, then the winner and loser must be reconciled with each other for another year.
In the event of a crackdown, those responsible in Munich will lose face to some degree, but it may make sense for economic and team hygiene reasons. Unlike next summer, a fee could still be generated for Lewandowski this year. In addition, a player who is dissatisfied with his situation is rarely conducive to the atmosphere of a team.
Robert Lewandowski’s behavior called for a farewell
Lewandowski’s behavior in Wolfsburg, meanwhile, indicated that he certainly expected Bayern to tense up. It was sure of victory, it literally shouted goodbye. He was the first player to rush to the FC Bayern fan block after the final whistle.
He applauded the fans, they cheered on him – just as they did later in the evening at the fan festival at Nockherberg, where Salihamidzic meanwhile was bubbling – and one or two tears could be seen in the corners of Lewandowski’s eyes. Emotionally moved, he kept waving in the direction of the stands, like one waving for the last time.
Soon his teammates came, clapped and waved a little and left again. But Lewandowski remained. In front of the fan block, he was handed the top scorer cannon for the seventh and fifth time in a row. He had previously scored to make it 2-0, it was his 35th Bundesliga and 50th competitive goal this season.
Lewandowski also ended the match as captain because coach Julian Nagelsmann had replaced the nominal captain Manuel Neuer in the final stages of the young Christian Früchtl.
Lewandowski departure: Nagelsmann sees “incentive”
After the match, Nagelsmann again emphatically referred to Lewandowski’s contract, which was valid until 2023. He commented quite coolly on the striker’s farewell. Above all, the coach now sees “the incentive to look for a new striker next season who can replace Lewy after next season. That’s the job we need to do. There’s some room for grief. You have to try to do your best. for the future.”
Possible successor candidates include Sasa Kalajdzic (VfB Stuttgart), Sadio Mane (Liverpool FC), Patrik Schick (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) and Sebastien Haller (Ajax Amsterdam).
Lewandowski’s self-chosen farewell is, incidentally, new territory for FC Bayern: With all the previous regular strikers of this millennium, the club had actively decided when it needed a new push in the front line. Giovane Elber left in 2003 because Roy Makaay came. The Dutchman was replaced by Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose in 2007. In 2009, Mario Gomez followed as the new regular striker, followed three years later by Mario Mandzukic. He was eventually sold to Atletico Madrid in 2014 to make way for Lewandowski.
Since then, he has darkened all his predecessors: Lewandowski scored 343 goals in 374 competitive matches, second most after Gerd Müller (523). Others will only be added if he loses the duel that finally began in Wolfsburg Arena with his current employer.