Robert Lewandowski is not a star born and bred in Bayern Munich. By the time he joined the Bavarians back in 2014, he had already played 187 Bundesliga matches for rivals Borussia Dortmund and had scored 103 goals in those appearances.
Hence, many had expected Lewandowski to become a vital cog in the Bayern Munich set-up, but hardly anyone would have predicted him to become not only a significant member of the current squad, but also a significant name in their history which will be spoken about at lengths in the years to come.
In the last eight seasons, Lewandowski has scored goals for fun, finding the back of the net 344 times in his 375 appearances. He has helped Bayern win every single Bundesliga title since he arrived at the club, and has also won plenty of individual accolades including a European Golden Shoe, a Ballon d’Or Striker of the Year award and two FIFA The Best Men’s Player awards.
Lewandowski is the second-highest goalscorer of all time for the Bavarians, as well as the second-highest goal-scorer in the history of the Bundesliga. From what we have said so far, it will not be surprising at all if one harbours the assumption that Lewandowski and his team share an ineffable bond.
The reality, however, is incredibly different. The Polish goal-machine is determined to leave the very team for whom he wore his heart on the sleeve in each of those 375 matches. Lewandowski’s contract expires in 2023, and while Bayern Munich might be interested in offering him a contract extension, the 33-year-old is currently not interested in extending his stay at the club. Moreover, the situation turned worse recently as it was reported that Lewandowski is planning to leave Bayern this summer itself, let one signing an extension beyond 2023.
LEWANDOWSKI AND BAYERN MUNICH AT LOGGERHEADS – HOW DID IT COME TO THIS?
If someone had said Lewandowski is looking to leave Der FCB around this time last year, the natural reaction would have been to check the calendar for the April Fools’ Day, since such an occurrence seemed improbable.
Perhaps, the Bayern Munich think tank also had a similar attitude regarding this entire saga, for they have always seemed relaxed. Even when former goalkeeper and current CEO Oliver Kahn was enquired about the contract situation barely a month ago, he confidently assured the fans that the Polish superstar will be seen wearing the red shirt beyond 2022.
However, what Kahn and the other members of the Bayern Munich higher authority failed to realize is that while they remained calm and tranquil about the contract situation, Lewandowski would perhaps have wanted them to be a tad more proactive.
The life of a footballer cannot be directly compared to that of a professional working in a generic corporate structure, but one common underlying factor unites both – the urge to feel loved and wanted by the organization. Notably, Bayern Munich were not particularly very active in terms of starting contract negotiations with Lewandowski.
Though it stands redundant now, there is one plausible cause for this initial reluctance – Bayern were one of the many teams who were interested in signing Erling Haaland, who has recently put pen to paper for Manchester City.
If Haaland had signed for the 32-time German first division champions, Lewandowski could have been off-loaded given his wage demands and age. However, being one of the better players to have ever donned the crest of Stern des Sudens, Lewandowski and his entourage were disappointed with the team’s treatment, which played a major role in his decision to leave Bayern Munich.
WHERE IS ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI HEADED TO?
Now that the player himself has acknowledged his desire to leave Munich, the second-most important question of this saga is – where is Robert Lewandowski headed to? There are a few options, but one team has emerged as the frontrunners by a mile and a half.
According to various reports, Spanish giants Barcelona are interested in the signature of the talismanic frontman, and perhaps, their interest in Lewandowski is reciprocated by Lewandowski himself. There are a few reasons why this deal, if at all happens, could be beneficial for both teams.
Firstly, it is very certain that if the move materializes, Lewandowski will be the biggest name on the current Barcelona lineup, which he probably won’t be if he joins better-placed teams like Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.
To add to that, the Catalans have recently added firepower to their attacking ranks in the form of Ferran Torres and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who have been doing well recently. By adding the Polish striker to the front three, Barcelona manager Xavi will be able to form a genuinely intimidating front three, whilst Lewandowski himself is likely to bag goals aplenty with the kind of service Torres and Aubameyang are known to provide.
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