Gerd Mueller's Bundesliga scoring record will live to stand another year - unless Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski can repeat a crazy feat against Wolfsburg.
When it comes to goals and scoring records, there is little that seems impossible for Robert Lewandowski. The 31-year-old Bayern Munich striker has fired his way to one best-mark after another this season.
But despite this, even the great Pole is set to fall short on the almost half-century old Bundesliga scoring record from 1971/72, when Gerd Mueller struck 40 times for Bayern, said dpa.
Going into the last closed doors game of the delayed coronavirus season, Lewandowski is seven shy of Mueller despite 33 goals from 33 league games - a record barely credible outside of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the modern game.
Seven goals in one game would be needed to match Mueller. Mission Impossible? Perhaps facing Wolfsburg on Saturday is just what Lewandowski needs.
In September 2015, Lewandowski entered as a substitute against Wolfsburg and scored not once, twice or even three times but bagged five goals in a remarkable eight minutes 59 seconds. Why not, then, seven inside 90?
Goals drive Lewandowski, who retains an insatiable hunger for scoring.
"You have to stay focused even when you have already scored a goal or two in a game," he said this season. That was after he claimed four inside 15 minutes in the Champions League against Red Star Belgrade.
Lewandowski on Saturday will collect the Bundesliga title but also the top scorers' award for the fifth time. His era started in 2013/14 with Borussia Dortmund before 2015/16, 2017/18 and 2018/19 honours were earned in the red of Bayern.
Germany striker Timo Werner is second best but a long way behind with 26 goals for Leipzig this term.
Lewandowski seems to be maturing with age and turning into an even more clinical scorer and better all round player. The days of complaining when team-mates don't find him in the box or bickering over penalty duties are gone.
He is defined by his goals but works for the team in different ways as well.
"Robert knows exactly that the team first in focus, that it is first extremely important that the team is successful," said Bayern coach Hansi Flick. "You never have success alone."
Lewandowski scored twice in his last home game but also provided the opener for Joshua Kimmich in a 3-1 victory over Freiburg.
"Robert also needs team-mates to provide the goals," said Flick. "But it is clear, his quality to convert or assist is top."
With a contract to 2023, Lewandowski will score many more goals for Bayern. Club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge called his development "astonishing" and called him a "really important factor" for the team.
"He doesn't just score an incredible number of goals. He is a personality and one who doesn't shy from putting on pressure."