Robert Lewandowski scored his record 41st Bundesliga goal in the final minute of Bayern Munich's final match of the 2020/21 season. - © 2021 DFL
Robert Lewandowski scored his record 41st Bundesliga goal in the final minute of Bayern Munich's final match of the 2020/21 season. - © 2021 DFL

Robert Lewandowski: MD34's Man of the Matchday sets new 41-goal single-season record


Robert Lewandowski admits he's yet to fully digest the magnitude of his historic final-day strike against Augsburg, which broke the Bundesliga record for most goals in a single season.

Lewandowski was denied a hatful of clear-cut scoring chances by Augsburg goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz, and looked set to miss out on the best mark, which he had equalled on the penultimate weekend.

But the 32-year-old was not to be denied. In the final minute - and with the last meaningful kick of the game - after his Polish countryman spilled a shot from substitute Leroy Sane, Bayern's peerless No.9 pounced to stick away his 41st Bundesliga goal of the campaign.

Watch: The moment Robert Lewandowski made history

"I have to say I never dreamt about breaking this record, to score more than 40 goals because I thought that it’s impossible," Lewandowski told after rewriting the history books in Bayern's swashbuckling 5-2 win, played out in front of 250 spectators at the Allianz Arena.

"If you only have 34 games and I played 29 games - so that’s why I still don’t believe what I did. But I think of this whole game, I scored in the last seconds - not only the last minute. I was trying three, four, five times to score, but I couldn’t. And the last situation came, and I scored the goal. That is something special, something historic. I still don’t believe it, but maybe tomorrow, maybe even one or two weeks later, I’ll understand what I did."

Watch: Lewandowski reflects on setting a new Bundesliga goals record

In Lewandowski's defence, it's a lot to take in.

Over the course of the campaign, the Poland international registered five braces, four hat-tricks and one four-goal blitz. He only failed to score in four of the 29 matches he featured in, and never went more than one without finding the net. His most prolific burst fell between Matchdays 21 to 34 when he tallied 17 goals in 10 appearances, either side of a four-match absence due to a knee ligament injury. He also sat out the Matchday 6 win over Cologne. When Müller set the 40-goal record in 1971/72, he played in all 34 of Bayern's league fixtures.

With an average of one goal every 60 minutes, had Lewandowski been fit for the duration of Bayern's ninth successive title romp, he would have ended the 2020/21 campaign closer to 50 goals. Not that the former Borussia Dortmund goal-getter is complaining.

As well as being the first player in history to score more than 40 goals in a single Bundesliga season, Lewandowski becomes the first to be named top scorer for four years running. The Pole's nearest challenger in the Torjägerkanone race was Eintracht Frankfurt counterpart Andre Silva. The Portugal international registered 28 goals, one more than Dortmund's Erling Haaland. In 42 of the previous 57 Bundesliga campaigns, Frankfurt's main man would claimed the prize for himself.

"It's difficult to talk about my emotions because I’m very happy, I’m very proud," continued Lewandowski, who also ranks as the runaway leader for the European Golden Shoe, 11 and 12 goals clear of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo respectively.

"Also I want to dedicate this goal - the last one - to my mother because today is her birthday. And also to Hansi Flick and all staff because they did an amazing job. Our work together was amazing, we put in amazing performances since Hansi Flick was here, so that was something special, also for me, also for us players. So now I'm feeling great. I don't know exactly what I did maybe yet, but I'm proud, I’m very happy and emotions are very high."

Watch: Lewandowski dedicates milestone goal to his mother

A Bundesliga top scorer in 2013/14 and 2015/16, Lewandowski moves on to six cannons overall. The great Müller is the only Bundesliga player past or present to have won more (seven). He's also the one player ahead of Lewandowski in the all-time scoring charts.

Der Bomber der Nation rattled off 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga appearances. LewanGOALski, who turns 33 in August, has struck 277 times in 350 outings. That gives him a superior strike rate of one goal every 101 minutes, compared to Müller's 105-minute average.

Other than fitness and form, there's really nothing to stop Lewandowski hitting even great goal-scoring heights in the years to come.