Robert Lewandowski is already the second all-time leading scorer in the Bundesliga, has won nine Bundesliga titles, four DFB Cups, a UEFA Champions League and was named FIFA's Best Player of the Year for 2020. But still, before turning 33 in the summer, Lewandowski is hungry for more.
Bayern's star No.9 sits down with bundesliga.com to discuss his mentality to stay at the top and prove he's no one-season hit, looking ahead to working under Julian Nagelsmann and how it has been working with Hansi Flick in the most successful era in the club's history...
bundesliga.com: You have won over 50 personal titles; What does that mean to you?
Robert Lewandowski: "It's something extra because during the season, during the games, you don't think about these personal titles or personal success because this is a team sport. Football is a sport where you cannot win alone, you need a good team, good teammates and your teammates work for you. That's why I'm always thankful to my teammates because they have to send the ball to me, they have to pass to me. My individual success and trophies also belong to them because without them, I cannot win anything, so I know what it means for them. Maybe in the end, I have this trophy at home but I know it belongs to my teammates or my staff, that's why I don't think about it during the games or season, it's something extra. For sure, sometimes I'm very proud of this but I always see my teammates on these trophies as well."
Watch: How does Robert Lewandowski score his goals?
bundesliga.com: You have been in this game for so long now; you have been successful for so long - you even improve every year. Where does that motivation come from?
Lewandowski: "You know, for me the motivation isn't to be the best or be one of the best for five minutes. I know what it means to be on the top but to stay on the top. I'm ready for this, for years I've tried to be on the top, not only for one season, and I know that to be on the top for a long time, you need to work hard. I want to show that it's not about what happens in one year, no matter how many titles you have won, you can still win more. It's my ambition, I'm a guy who doesn't think about the past, I'm thinking about the future, what can happen, what more can I do, what can I do better. And I want to keep learning, this is still on my mind. I don't think that I know everything and I'm the best. I need to train, to practice to do something better, maybe. That's why I have the ambition to be on the top and better, even though I'm already 32, 33 this year, but age is only a number for me, I can play football for many, many years."
bundesliga.com: What are your personal goals now? For you and Bayern Munich as well...
Lewandowski: "Playing for Bayern Munich is always the same thing, every year, you need to be the best, whether it's Bundesliga, cup or Champions League and I have to say that I like to be on the top and the player with a lot of expectation on him because I am not afraid of this, I like this. Sure, sometimes the expectations are too huge but I am not afraid of this and I think that everyone who plays for Bayern Munich knows that to be good is not enough, you have to be very good."
bundesliga.com: Your future coach Julian Nagelsmann said that it is nearly impossible to improve you. Would you agree or can you still learn something?
Lewandowski: "I try to learn something, still. It doesn't matter how old you are or how good you are. What's more important is how good you want to be, even if your performance is on a high level. Everything you do in training is more important, you need practice. Even if you have a good right foot, it goes down without practice. With practice, you can keep at a high level or even higher, which is why I know that I need it and want it. Maybe I can play with my left foot or need to decide to score more with my left, I'm always trying to show something new."
Watch: Julian Nagelsmann - Bound for Bayern!
bundesliga.com: What does Hansi Flick mean to you? From your point of view as a player and as a person?
Lewandowski: "Hansi Flick is a man who wants to be always fair and always be clear with his mind, that's something that players feel. He's the guy who is always honest and fair to the players. And as a coach, you know, if he won so many titles, that means he is a great coach and he is because he knows exactly what the players need sometimes, not only in the training session or the pitch but off the pitch - what kind of problems they have, what they need to bring their best performance on the pitch. He's a very intelligent guy, as a coach as well, and he understands that football players are also humans. He knows what to do to bring our best onto the pitch."