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Robert Lewandowski wants to leave Bayern Munich: The duel is on

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Robert Lewandowski wants to leave Bayern Munich: The duel is on

Robert Lewandowski scored his 343rd goal for FC Bayern Munich in the 2-2 win against VfL Wolfsburg and secured the top scorer for the seventh time. But much more important: The 33-year-old striker has publicly instigated a duel with his employer FC Bayern Munich.

Funnily enough, when Robert Lewandowski appeared in FC Bayern’s jersey for the Munich fans for the last time, the Fliegerlied was playing in the Wolfsburg Arena. “And a plane flies past. Then I wave up to him: ‘Hello plane!'” roared the Wolfsburg fans, who were happy about a 2-2 win against the old, new and probably eternal champion.

Lewandowski has been playing for FC Bayern since 2014, and thanks to a number of Oktoberfest visits, he is certainly familiar with the catchy text of the “Fliegerlied”. While humming along, he may have been thinking about his own departure from FC Bayern, the plane that he doesn’t just want to say “hello” to, but that he wants to board as soon as possible: namely the way from Munich, according to reports, preferably to FC Barcelona.

The soccer game between Wolfsburg and FC Bayern, which ended 2-2, faded completely into the background on Saturday afternoon. On the one hand, that was due to the table constellation: For both teams, it was no longer about anything, FC Bayern has been the champion for three weeks. Above all, however, it was due to the developments surrounding the team’s most dangerous striker for years, who publicly challenged his employer to a duel after the pilot’s song had died down.

Lewandowskis and FC Bayern: There will be a winner

“It’s quite possible that it was my last game for FC Bayern,” announced Lewandowski on the streaming platform Viaplay. He personally confirmed what had been rumored in Munich for days – and at the same time made a very steep announcement. The decision as to whether he will still play for FC Bayern next season is by no means in his hands.

Lewandowski is contractually bound until 2023, his employer would have to agree to an early departure. At every opportunity, however, he refers to all senior employees to ensure that this working paper is properly complied with. Sports director Hasan Salihamidzic emphasized again before the game in Wolfsburg: “Our position is clear.” No sign of a “quite possible” farewell.

As unequivocally as both sides in Wolfsburg communicated their view of the situation, one thing is certain: in the end there will be a winner and a loser in this duel. If FC Bayern doesn’t buckle in the driver’s seat, then the winner and the loser will have to come to terms with each other for another year.

In the event of a buckling, those responsible in Munich would lose face to a certain extent, but it might make sense for economic and squad hygiene reasons. Unlike next summer, a fee could still be generated for Lewandowski this year. In addition, a player who is unhappy with his situation is rarely conducive to the atmosphere in a team.

Robert Lewandowski’s behavior called for farewell

Meanwhile, Lewandowski’s behavior in Wolfsburg suggested that he firmly expected Bayern to buckle. It was sure of victory, it literally cried out for farewell. He was the first player to rush to the FC Bayern fan block after the final whistle.

He applauded the fans, they cheered him on – just as they did later in the evening at the Nockherberg fan festival, where Salihamidzic was meanwhile booed – and one or two tears could be seen in the corners of Lewandowski’s eyes. Emotionally touched, he kept waving in the direction of the stands like someone waving for the last time.

Soon his fellow players came, applauded and waved a bit and left again. But Lewandowski stayed. In front of the fan block, he was presented with the top scorer cannon for the seventh and fifth time in a row. He had previously scored to make it 2-0, it was his 35th Bundesliga and 50th competitive goal this season.

Incidentally, Lewandowski ended the game as captain because coach Julian Nagelsmann had replaced the nominal captain Manuel Neuer in the closing stages for the young Christian Früchtl.

Lewandowski departure: Nagelsmann sees “incentive”

After the game, Nagelsmann again referred urgently to Lewandowski’s contract, which was valid until 2023. He commented rather coolly on the striker’s farewell. Above all, the coach now sees “the incentive to look for a new striker next season who can replace Lewy after the next season. That’s the job we have to do. There’s little room for grief. You have to try to do the best for the future.”

Possible successor candidates include Sasa Kalajdzic (VfB Stuttgart), Sadio Mane (Liverpool FC), Patrik Schick (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) and Sebastien Haller (Ajax Amsterdam).

By the way, Lewandowski’s self-chosen farewell is new territory for FC Bayern: With all previous regular strikers of this millennium, the club had actively decided when it needed a new impetus at the front line. Giovane Elber left in 2003 because Roy Makaay came. The Dutchman was replaced by Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose in 2007. In 2009, Mario Gomez followed as the new regular striker, followed three years later by Mario Mandzukic. He was eventually sold to Atletico Madrid in 2014 to make room for Lewandowski.

Since then he has eclipsed all his predecessors: Lewandowski scored 343 goals in 374 competitive games, the second most after Gerd Müller (523). Others will only be added if he loses the duel that was finally instigated in the Wolfsburg Arena with his current employer.

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