Claudio Pizarro (r.) set the benchmark for goal scoring Bundesliga imports that Robert Lewandowski (l.) has chased. - DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga
Claudio Pizarro (r.) set the benchmark for goal scoring Bundesliga imports that Robert Lewandowski (l.) has chased. - DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga
bundesliga

Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski and Werder Bremen's Claudio Pizarro eyeing records

Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski and Werder Bremen's Claudio Pizarro may be good friends thanks to their time together at the Allianz Arena, but a rivalry is now ensuing as the former is determined to seize a record long held by Pizarro, who in turn has his sights trained a couple of best-marks of his own.

With 194 Bundesliga goals to his name so far, Pizarro is the highest-scoring non-German player in the league's history. Yet Lewandowski is catching up with the 40-year-old veteran - and fast. Now just one goal behind, the Bayern forward is eager to take his former teammate's crown.

"This is the next step in my career, I hope in the next game I can do this," said Lewandowski to bundesliga.com after he became the first player ever to score 100 goals at the Allianz Arena. With 13 league goals so far this term and having averaged 30 in the Bundesliga over the last three seasons, the chances are that he will do.

Robert Lewandowski (l.) and Claudio Pizarro (2r.) lifted the Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich in 2014/15. - imago/MIS

Should he snatch the mantle from Pizarro, as seems inevitable, it would be a bitter stroke of irony given that it would be partly the Peruvian's own doing. Pizarro - 10 years Lewandowski's senior - was a role model for his younger colleague during their season together at Bayern in 2014/15 and taught him invaluable tricks of the trade.

"[Pizarro] was strong, he was always calm, his technique was incredible too," enthused Lewandowski. "He always knew exactly what he wanted to do with the ball and that's what I learned from him. He knew what I had to do with the ball, I have no problem saying that a lot of what I know, I learned by looking at him.”

In terms of their goals-to-minutes ratio, the pupil has already long since left the master in his wake. Lewandowski finds the net every 113 minutes on average in the Bundesliga, putting him behind only the legendary Gerd Müller in that regard for players with at least 30 league outings to their name. Pizarro, who has scored twice in the 2018/19 league season, has averaged a goal every 156 minutes since first joining Werder Bremen in 1999.

Watch: The secrets of Robert Lewandowski

Nevertheless, Pizarro is not going to give up his title without a fight. "I want to score a few more goals so that he has a hard time," he told Deutsche Welle. "I want to keep the record."

He looks set to be given the opportunity to do just that, given Bremen coach Florian Kohfeldt's fondness for his evergreen forward: "Whenever he comes on, the effect he has is so noticeable on so many levels that it's not something I want to do without."

If Pizarro does end up being overtaken, he can at least take consolation in the fact that he could yet set two more Bundesliga records of his own. Should the Bremen No.4 find the net in 2019, he would be the first player ever to score at least once in 21 consecutive years in Germany's top flight.

Watch: Claudio Pizarro's legendary Bundesliga journey

Not only that, if he finds the target at all from now on then he would leapfrog Miroslav Votava (40 years, three months and 30 days) - who incidentally also played for Bremen - as the oldest player ever to score in the Bundesliga.

Both of those records would at least be safe from Lewandowski for a decade, but even with his legacy already assured, Pizarro could yet go in search of more: "I think this will be my last season, but I always leave the door open a little bit. We'll see how I feel."