Where does Robert Lewandowski (c.) rank among the likes of Claudio Pizarro (l.), Gerd Müller (2nd l.), Jupp Heynckes (2nd r.) and Mario Gomez (r.) as the greatest goalscorers in Bundesliga history? - © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
Where does Robert Lewandowski (c.) rank among the likes of Claudio Pizarro (l.), Gerd Müller (2nd l.), Jupp Heynckes (2nd r.) and Mario Gomez (r.) as the greatest goalscorers in Bundesliga history? - © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
Bundesliga

Robert Lewandowski's place in the history of all-time Bundesliga goalscoring greats?

Robert Lewandowski became Bayern Munich's all-time top foreign goalscorer when he reached 142 in all competitions in March 2018, having already broken into the German top-flight's all-time top 10. The former Borussia Dortmund striker has cemented his place among the Bundesliga's true goalscoring greats - and he keeps adding to his tally.

bundesliga.com casts its expert eye over the most successful penalty-box poachers since the league's inception in 1963 and ponders where Bayern's prolific Pole ranks among the best in the net-busting business...

Watch: Lewandowski and Jupp Heynckes talk goalscorers

1) Gerd Müller 365 goals/427 games

If Gerd Müller had been a boxer, he would have been the undisputed heavyweight champion. Not that he has the physique for it, but his ability to deliver the telling, knockout blow remains unsurpassed. It probably never will be. Why? There are 365 reasons why, 145 more than his closest rival, and a whole lot scored at a physics-defying ratio. The defence rests, unlike those who tried to stop 'Der Bomber'. Seven times the Bundesliga's top scorer, and with 40 goals in the 1971/72 season — another record that will stand the test of time…need we go on? No, thought not.

Watch: bundsliga.com paid tribute to Müller on his 70th birthday

2) Jupp Heynckes 220 goals/369 games

Yes, before he jumped into the dug-out to mastermind Bundesliga title wins and UEFA Champions League triumphs at Bayern and Real Madrid, Heynckes was a player. And not just any player. Had Müller not existed, Heynckes — then at Bayern's great rivals of the 1970s, Borussia Mönchengladbach — would have been Germany's front-line forward of the decade. He still managed to pip his great rival to the top scorer's crown in 1973/74 and the following season though, and has the second-best goals-to-games ratio of all-time.

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4) Klaus Fischer 268 goals/535 games

Not as well known internationally as the three men ahead of him, but Fischer can hold his own in such company. Only Müller has more Bundesliga goals to his name than the striker who helped both Schalke (twice) and Cologne finish second in the top flight. Also a runner-up at the 1982 FIFA World Cup, he never won the Bundesliga title himself, but his tally of 29 strikes earned him the Torjägerkanone of 1975/76.

6) Manfred Burgsmüller 213 goals/447 games

The fact he is fourth in terms of Bundesliga goals outright only gives a hint at the remarkable career — and post-career — Burgsmüller enjoyed. His 135 goals in 224 league matches for Dortmund are a club record, and were by no means a one-off: between 1974 and when he hung up his boots at Bremen in 1990, he was always among the top ten leading scorers in the Bundesliga. He then put his ability to strike a ball sweetly to good use as the kicker of Düsseldorf-based American football team Rhein Fire between 1996 and 2002 making him — when he quit at 52 — the oldest-ever professional American footballer.

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8) Dieter Müller 177 goals/303 games

The 1970s Bundesliga was awash with razor-toothed sharpshooters, and Müller was one of the most feared. Though he does not share any biological links with his Bayern namesake and peer, the pair were identical when it came to putting the ball in the back of the net as Cologne fans gleefully found out as he spearheaded their 1977/78 double triumph. Bremen fans were less happy when he scored six goals against them in a devastating 7-2 win in 1977/78, still a Bundesliga record.

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