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60 years of Bundesliga

Robert Lewandowski's historic 41st goal of the season

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For many years, the record of 40 Bundesliga goals in a single season - set by Gerd Müller in 1971/72 - was considered unbeatable, until Robert Lewandowski arrived.

Find many more memorable moments and records in the Bundesliga's 60-year history!

Lewandowski was already famed for being a world-class goalscorer by 2021. For years, the Polish striker added success after success in Germany, having twice won the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund, including the league and cup double in 2012. After moving to Bayern Munich in 2014, he became a serial winner and picked up the top goalscorer crown six times with the Bavarians.

However, until a certain point, Lewy had failed to come close to the fabled total of 40 goals in a season, which Gerd Müller achieved in 1971/72. In his previous best season, 2019/20, Lewandowski managed 34 goals, leaving him six shy of the historic Müller record. But the 2020/21 campaign finally saw that record tumble as the Pole replaced Müller on the throne.

Watch: All 41 Lewandowski goals in 2020/21

Lewandowski was in fine goalscoring form from the off that season. Hitting four in the 4-3 home win over Hertha Berlin and three in the 5-0 victory against Eintracht Frankfurt helped the Pole to ten goals after just five matchdays. It was clear that Müller's record was under serious threat. By the end of the first half of the season, the Bayern marksman had 22 goals to his name. 

When Lewandowski already had 35 goals after matchday 26, it seemed only a formality that Müller's record would fall. However, Lewy then suffered a ligament injury. The forward was only rarely injured during his time in the Bundesliga, but he missed four games in the final phase of the 2020/21 season, leaving him with only four more games left to surpass the late Gerd.

Despite the concerns, it quickly became clear immediately after his return that the injury would not knock Lewandowski off track. He scored one goal in the 2-1 defeat against Mainz and then three in the 6-0 home win over Borussia Mönchengladbach. Only one goal was now missing with two games remaining to equal Müller.

Watch: All 312 Lewandowski goals in the Bundesliga

Lewandowski then converted a penalty in the 2-2 draw in Freiburg while on 15 May to draw level with the redord. The striker's next objective was to set break it against Augsburg on the final matchday of the season.

He made things particularly exciting that day. Bayern scored four goals against Augsburg up to the 90th minute, but none were from their talismanic striker. Then, in the very last minute, with the very last action, the time came. After Leroy Sane's long-range effort was only parried by goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz, Lewandowski pounced. And the rest is history.

Will his 41 goals in a season stand forever? Müller's record also seemed unbreakable for many years. Only time will tell whether a future Bundesliga forward will be as lethal in front of goal as the great Robert Lewandowski.

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