Robert Lewandowski's stunning Bundesliga career
Robert Lewandowski is leaving Bayern Munich after eight prolific seasons in which he scored 344 goals in 375 games. We look back at his illustrious career, which began in his native Poland.
The prolific Pole is synonymous with goals, title wins and Bundesliga records en route to being regarded as the best out-and-out striker in world football. Yet his story has humble beginnings, given that he started from the third division of the Polish football playing for Legia Warsaw's reserves and Znicz Pruszkow.
A star at Lech Poznan
After finishing top scorer in Poland's second tier, he joined Lech Poznan in 2008 and led them to the Polish Ekstraklasa title a year later. Soon international scouts came calling and, while a well-documented volcano eruption scuppered a move to England, it was in the Bundesliga where he truly broke onto the scene.
Dortmund: Doorway to German dominance
Dortmund secured his signature for a four-year stint that produced two Bundesliga titles, including the club's first league and cup double in the 2011-12 season. The Pole famously scored four goals in a 4-1 win over Real Madrid en route to the 2013 UEFA Champions League final, but was on the losing side against Bayern Munich, whom he'd join a year later.
Making magic in Munich
After moving to Munich on a free transfer, Lewandowski got down to business, finishing his first season with 25 goals in the Bundesliga and winning the first of eight consecutive titles. He also helped them to three German Cup triumphs, adding the Champions League trophy in their treble winning season, 2019-20. He also collected numerous individual awards.
Gerd Müller's record broken
Robert Lewandowski also achieved what had been previously thought impossible. On May 22, 2021, he broke Gerd Müller's record for most goals scored in a Bundesliga season when he netted for a 41st time in the 2020-21 campaign against Augsburg. It was a remarkable run as he claimed his first European Golden Boot award.
Robert Lewandowski may have beaten Gerd Müller's record for goals in a single Bundesliga season. However, he leaves the league still well short of "Der Bomber's" career record of 365 goals, having finished his time in Germany's top flight with a total of 311 (update after Saturday's game!) He is only the second player to have reached the 300-goal plateau.
Poland's record goalscorer
Lewandowski's form at club has also been consistent with his international career, where he led the Polish national team to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Since making his debut in 2008, he has made 129 appearances and scored a record 75 goals for his country.
Time to say goodbye
After 384 games and 312 goals for Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, 10 league titles and one Champions League title, Lewandowski now moves on from the Bundesliga to seek a new challenge at Barcelona, where he will surely continue to demonstrate his enduring class.