ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI — ONE OF THE GREATEST STRIKERS IN WORLD FOOTBALL? | With Eisha Acton
There’s always been an ongoing debate regarding the best striker to grace the game. The names mentioned are pretty much always the same. I feel one name that goes under the radar a lot is Robert Lewandowski and I think it’s insane to not include him in this discussion. Because Lewandoski just received the European Golden Shoe, it seemed like a good time for this argument — so today I’m going to list 5 reasons why I think he’s one of the greatest strikers in world football. This article is brought to you by Kitbag — the worldwide leader for official football kits. Do check out the link below to shop all their new season kits:
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- Record Breaker:
Lewandowski ended his 11th season in the Bundesliga with a record 41 goals, going one better than the late Gerd Müller 49 years earlier. He only failed to score in four of the 29 matches he featured in, and never went more than one match without hitting the net. This stat, once again highlights his consistency, only missing the target in 4 matches is mental and definitely needs to be spoken about more. The gap between Lewandowski and the chasing pack has never been bigger. Lionel Messi scored 30 times for Barcelona; Cristiano Ronaldo put away 29 goals in his final season as a Juventus player; while previous European Golden Shoe winner Ciro Immobile hit 20.
“This is a great accolade for Robert Lewandowski,” commented Bayern president Herbert Hainer, after Lewandowski added the 2021 European Golden Shoe to his 2020 UEFA and FIFA Best Player awards.
“Not just for his many, many goals but for the exemplary professionalism with which he gives everything for success every day.
The 33-year-old is currently enjoying an 18-game scoring run in all competitions for Bayern. He is the first player to score in 13 straight Bundesliga home matches — trumping another best-mark that once belonged Gerd Muller. With 284 goals in 356 appearances, Lewandowski is the Bundesliga’s record non-German scorer, second to Müller in the all-time department but first in terms of minutes per goal (100.4). Every accolade displays what an exceptional player Robert Lewandowski is in world football,” exclaimed Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.
“Robert always sets the highest standards, both for himself but also for everyone else. That helps us, and that’s why I’m very happy that Robert is now receiving the Golden Shoe he’s earned.”
2. Incredible consistency/numbers
Lewandowski, in my eyes, has been one of the most consistent players and one of the best strikers over the last 10 years. These numbers are comparable to Messi and Ronaldo and are seriously out of this world. He has registered 305 goals in 336 competitive appearances for Bayern. 113 goal contributions since the start of the 2019/20 campaign alone is more than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues across that period.
The fact these crazy numbers don’t make the news drives home where Lewandowski is ranked in the game and almost makes him underrated. Goals for fun are very much the norm for the most extraordinarily consistent goal scorer in world football today.
Consistency is the hallmark of a great player. Ronaldo and Messi have made it their forte, as has Lewandowski. The last time he failed to score 20 goals across all competitions in a season was way back during the 2010/11 campaign.
In eight out of ten seasons since then, he’s scored more than 30 goals and in six of those, he’s hit and surpassed the 40-goal mark. Simply outrageous numbers.
Lewandowski’s output per season since 2011:
On average, he has managed 49 G/A per season over the space of 10 seasons. Unreal.
Lewandowski’s primary objective on a football pitch is to put the ball in the back of the net, but he’s far more than just a goal scorer.
The Pole is more than capable of contributing with assists, as, according to Transfermarkt, he has setup his teammates on 118 occasions during his 587-game club career. I think this shows how hard he works and how selfless he is for his team and is key for an elite player.
That’s an assist every five games, a record that a significant number of attacking midfielders would be mightily proud of and yet he achieves this as a striker.
Lewandowski is now the third-highest scorer in Europe’s most elite competition. He’s scored 75 goals in just 97 Champions League appearances for Dortmund and Bayern, an average of a goal every 1.3 games. To put that figure into perspective, only Messi — who averages a goal every 1.23 games — has a better record per game among the competition’s top scorers. How people overlook this is nuts!
3. Amazing fitness and availability
“Lewandowski is the most professional player I have ever met,” Pep Guardiola once said, per the official Bundesliga website. “He thinks about the right food, sleep and training, 24 hours a day.
“He’s always there, never injured, because he focuses on these things, and he knows what’s important to be in the best condition.”
His injury record is as reliable as his goal scoring and according to Transfermarkt, he’s missed just 15 games during his Bayern career which spans 8 years, through being condemned to the treatment table and a big factor towards this is his wife. The former Dortmund forward has played in at least 30 of 34 single-season Bundesliga games all but once since moving to Germany from Poland’s Lech Poznan in the summer of 2010.
In an article with the Bundesliga website, Anna Lewandowska mentions some of the stuff they have had to do.
“There’s a lot of little things that we started changing 12 years ago,” Anna explained. “For example, the quality of sleep: a good mattress, no blue light and the right food before bed.” You can definitely see that all of this has worked for Lewandowski and it’s evident because he’s still scoring goals today. He starts virtually every game and looks like he’s in top shape.
4. International career
Thriving on the international stage is a big thing for any footballer.
While Lewandowski is unlikely to lift trophies with Poland, he’s certainly done more than enough for his country over the years. This is perhaps the one thing I think that hinders Lewandowski. He obviously can’t change his nationality but if he did play for a better nation, for example, a France, Brazil or even like an Italy, he would definitely be way more spoken about when it comes to these types of conversations, in my opinion. But even then he still has scored 61 goals In 112 games for the Polish national side and only 26 players have ever scored more on international duty.
In conclusion, I think that looking at all the factors, Lewandowski should be up there as one of the best strikers we have seen, especially considering his career longevity, his peak, his fitness and all the trophies he has won. It would be disrespectful not to consider him as one of the greatest. What do you think? Comment below and let me know your thoughts. Are there any other underrated strikers I should be talking about? Tweet me: www.twitter.com/eisha_acton_
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