Robert Lewandowski moved to within one strike of Gerd Müller's long-standing single-season goals record on Matchday 32. - © Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images
Robert Lewandowski moved to within one strike of Gerd Müller's long-standing single-season goals record on Matchday 32. - © Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images
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Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski: MD32's Man of the Matchday one goal from Bundesliga history

Forty goals in a single Bundesliga campaign. It's over 17,800 days since the great Gerd Müller set the bar with a hat-trick against Eintracht Frankfurt. Almost 49 years on, Robert Lewandowski is one goal from history, thanks to a three-strike spree of his own.

Lewandowski accounted for half of Bayern Munich's goals on Matchday 32, as the record champions celebrated their ninth successive Bundesliga title with a 6-0 rout of old rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach. The 32-year-old moved on to 39 goals in the process, and now has two games left to equal - if not better - Müller's long-standing gold standard.

"I know it won't be easy, but it would be amazing for me" Lewandowski told bundesliga.com. "You only have 34 games in a season, even less in my situation, so it will be something special. I have to believe. I have a chance."

Watch: Robert Lewandowski talks Gerd Müller's scoring record

It's fair to say Lewandowski is more than downplaying his shot at footballing immortality. The Bayern No.9 is averaging a goal every 59 minutes in the Bundesliga this season, having failed to find the back of the net in just four of his 27 appearances. He has stuck away two or more single-game goals on 10 occasions, and hasn't once gone more than one match without scoring.

"I'm amazed," admitted Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who ranks third in the club's all-time scoring charts behind Lewandowski and Müller. "When Gerd Müller scored 40, I wasn't at Bayern yet. But I have to say, I believed it was a record that would stand the test of time. He will definitely go down in FC Bayern history."

There's no arguing with Lewandowski's place in the pantheon. Already 14 goals clear of Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Frankfurt counterpart Andre Silva at the head of the 2020/21 scoring charts, the Poland international is an improbable mathematical overhaul from being crowned Top of the Shots for the sixth time. It would also represent his fourth outright gong in a row - a Bundesliga first.

Müller - the Bundesliga's 365-goal record marksman and seven-time Torjägerkanone winner - 'only' managed three top scorer's prizes on the spin, albeit sharing the 1973/74 award with Jupp Heynckes. When Der Bomber Der Nation blew the field away with 40 goals in 1971/72, he played in all 34 of Bayern's fixtures. Lewandowski has reached 39, despite missing five matches through injury.

"Gerd Müller was my idol, but what Müller was regarded as in my youth, Lewy is now," enthused outgoing Bayern head coach Hansi Flick after witnessing Lewandowski's fifth Bundesliga hat-trick of the 2020/21 season. "If he does it, he'll fully deserve it. Thirty-nine goals already is sensational."

Watch: Lewandowski's hat-trick against Gladbach

Statistically, Lewandowski is expected to score a further three goals across Bayern's two remaining fixtures. Historically, he should fire at least once in both games, having rattled off 18 goals in 17 career meetings with top-seven outsiders Freiburg, and 20 in 16 against relegation-threatened Augsburg.

Whichever way you look at it, all signs point to LewanGOALski writing a new chapter in the Bundesliga annals.

"As we saw against Gladbach, Lewy's in great shape and still has two games to go," said Bayern captain Manuel Neuer, who equalled Oliver Kahn's clean sheet record in the 6-0 rout of Gladbach.

"He absolutely wants to do it, and will do everything he can to do it."