Robert Lewandowski is in season-best form, with his hat-trick in Bayern’s 8-0 dismantling of Hamburg taking him to the top of the Bundesliga scoring charts with 19 – tied with Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The prolific Pole has now scored 66 Bundesliga goals for Bayern, overtaking Rainer Olhauser in the club’s all-time list. Olhauser terrorised opposition defences throughout the 1960s, and that Lewandowski has only taken two-and-a-half seasons to reach the landmark prompted club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to say that the 28-year-old belonged “in the same category as Gerd Müller.”
Watch: Highlights of Bayern's remarkable win over Hamburg:
bundesliga.com caught up with Lewandowski after the HSV game to get his thoughts on such comparisons, and how he thinks this season’s goal-race is shaping up…
Question: Robert Lewandowski, Hamburg had been playing well in recent weeks, but you took them apart. How come it went so well for you?
Robert Lewandowski: Our plan, which we had in place before the game, worked out well. We played well from the first minute to the last and were eager to score. We wanted to keep going after every goal and score the next one. We know we have great potential and great players. It was an outstanding game for the fans and for the anniversary of our coach [Carlo Ancelotti oversaw his 1,000th game from the dug-out]. In the Bundesliga you really have to fight for every goal, but today it was easy. Even if we only win our next games 1-0 or 2-1, the most important thing is to win. We don’t always have to win by so many goals!
Question: Would there have been more if you had played longer?!
Lewandowski: I don’t know. I’ve had that experience before and sometimes it’s better to get the rest! If you play hard for 90 minutes in every game you maybe lose something from future games. We decided I would play a bit less today [Lewandowski made way for Renato Sanches on 57 minutes].
Watch: Lewandowski discusses Bayern's thumping win over Hamburg:
Question: Aubameyang scored twice this weekend and also has 19 goals for the season. This is going to be a tight race for the Torjägerkanone, isn’t it?
Lewandowski: That doesn’t matter to me right now. I’m not thinking about the Torjägerkanone. It’s more important what I do on the pitch. I want to play for the team.
Question: Rummenigge has said that you will one day be held in the same regard as Gerd Müller – Bayern’s all-time record goalscorer…
Lewandowski: Comparisons with players who played 20 or 30 years ago are difficult. I’m glad when I hear I’m on a par with Gerd Müller or other great Bayern strikers, but I write my own history and I want to show something new and do something that others haven’t done yet.
Watch: A vintage Gerd Müller goal from the archive:
Question: Over the past few years Bayern's performances have tended to calm down at the business end of the season. Why does it not appear to be that that way this term?
Lewandowski: We have to wait before we start deciding that the Bundesliga title race is done and dusted. We’re only five points ahead of RB Leipzig, which isn’t that much. I’m sure that Leipzig will fight until the end. We must stay focused. There is currently no big difference between us and them. We have to keep playing well.
Question: How important is Thomas Müller to the team?
Lewandowski: He showed how important he is today. He was outstanding, and was a great example to everyone. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t score. His play is out of this world. I'm also happy when he scores goals, but if he gives so many assists, I cannot say anything.
Question. What do you expect from the Schalke game [Bayern’s DFB Cup opponents on Wednesday]?
Lewandowski: We want to move into the next round, which is clearly our goal. So we will play to win.
Maximilian Lotz reporting from Munich