Robert Lewandowski has matched Gerd Müller's 49-year record of 40 goals in a single Bundesliga season. - © FC Bayern München
Robert Lewandowski has matched Gerd Müller's 49-year record of 40 goals in a single Bundesliga season. - © FC Bayern München
bundesliga

Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski: MD33's Man of the Matchday levels Gerd Müller's 40-goal single-season record

Robert Lewandowski netted his 40th Bundesliga goal of the campaign on Saturday to equal fellow Bayern Munich legend Gerd Müller's single-season record from 1971/72.

Lewandowski found the net after 27 minutes of the German champions' game at Freiburg, bringing his tally for the season to 40 goals in 28 league matches.

That matches Müller's tally from 49 years ago, when the Bundesliga's all-time leading goalscorer set the record with 40 goals in 34 games.

Watch: All of Lewandowski's 40 goals in 2020/21 - including his 40th vs. Freiburg

"I feel incredible," Lewandowski told bundesliga.com after his record-equalling feat. "Until now I maybe didn’t understand what was exactly happening because, you know, this is a legendary record. It’s something amazing, something special."

After sticking away his landmark goal, Lewandowski paid tribute to Müller by rolling up his jersey to reveal a '4EVER GERD' t-shirt, before the Bayern camp gave their latter-day goal machine a surprise guard of honour along the visiting dugout.

"We talked about it beforehand, without him knowing," Thomas Müller told bundesliga.com. "We were wondering whether it would happen, but it was very special that it did today. We were able to praise him and he could show the shirt. It was a great gesture from him for Gerd Müller.

"It's a record that has stood for a long time. It was set by a very special player - for Germany and Bayern - in Gerd Müller. For him to match it - and have the chance to overtake it - is hard to describe."

Lewandowski has scored an average of 1.4 goals per game in the Bundesliga having hit 40 from just 28 league appearances. The Poland international scored significantly more than he  should have, according to xGoals. In terms of Expected Goals, Lewandowski comes to an average of 0.96 per game, which would be a total of 27 goals. But Bayern's star frontman made the most of his chances.

Robert Lewandowski has exceeded all expectations for Bayern Munich this season. - DFL

Müller finished as the German top flight's leading goalscorer seven times in a Bayern career which spanned from 1964 to 1979. He remains the Bundesliga's most successful striker ever with 365 goals in 427 games.

Lewandowski - on course for a record fourth successive Torjägerkanone, and sixth overall - is second on the all-time list with 276 goals in 349 matches. Breaking another long-standing Müller record could be the next target the Poland captain has in mind.

In the meantime, the 32-year-old will have one last chance to set a new single-season record when nine-in-a-row champions Bayern host Augsburg on the final day.

Watch: Lewandowski targets outright record

"To get the chance to set the new record is something amazing," Lewandowski continued. "I'll try to do it in the next game, and we'll see what happens."

To date, Lewandowski has scored 20 times in 16 career meetings with Augsburg, so you know the drill...