While a new year has begun, Bundesliga fans will always remember 2019 as the year that Robert Lewandowski truly became one of the competition’s all-time greats.
Top scorer, record breaker and history maker – there was nothing that Bayern Munich’s invincible spearhead could not do as he netted 48 goals in all competition.
Here, we look back at the various milestones that Lewandowski achieved in 2019.
Robert Lewandowski’s top-scoring, record-breaking, history-making 2019
MARCH 9 – Bayern Munich 6-0 Wolfsburg (Match Day 25 – 2018/19)
With 37 minutes on the clock at the Allianz Arena, a visionary through-pass by James Rodriguez released Serge Gnabry and he unselfishly squared the ball to leave Lewandowski with a simple tap-in.
— FOX Sports Asia (@FOXSportsAsia) January 17, 2020
In doing so, the Poland international became the Bundesliga’s all-time foreign top scorer with 196 goals, surpassing the record set by another Bayern star of yesteryear in Claudio Pizarro.
Lewandowski was not done yet and added a second of the game – and his 197th overall – with five minutes remaining in what was a big win for Bayern.
MAY 18 – Bayern Munich 5-1 Eintracht Frankfurt (Match Day 34 – 2018/19)
Heading into the final day of the season with a two-point lead over Borussia Dortmund having overhauled a nine-point deficit, Bayern knew just a draw against Eintracht Frankfurt would realistically be enough to secure a 7th consecutive Meisterschale.
Instead, they went to win in emphatic fashion – beating Frankfurt 5-1 – and surprisingly Lewandowski was not one of the scorers.
Nonetheless, he had done enough in the previous 33 games to finish on 22 goals and claim his fourth top scorer award; it was also the first time in two decades that a player had retained the Torjagerkanone.
SEPTEMBER 28 – Paderborn 2-3 Bayern Munich (Match Day 6 – 2019/20)
For the 9th consecutive campaign, Lewandowski hit double digits in goals but, remarkably, it took him just five games and 79 minutes to achieve the feat.
Picked out outside the Paderborn box with an incisive pass, the Pole expertly took the ball into his stride with a sweeping touch before holding off both Luca Kilian and Jamilu Collins and deftly lifting a shot beyond the onrushing Jannik Huth.
NOVEMBER 2 – Eintracht Frankfurt 5-1 Bayern Munich (Match Day 10 – 2019/20)
Given his iconic status in the Bundesliga now, few might remember that when Lewandowski first moved to Germany initially with Borussia Dortmund, he had to play second fiddle to Lucas Barrios before getting his break when the Paraguayan was injured.
Fast forward nine years, Lewandowski joined the league’s 300-game club in Bayern’s visit to Eintracht Frankfurt.
The reigning champions ultimately could not cope with Jerome Boateng’s 9th-minute dismissal and fell to a heavy defeat, and Lewandowski provided the Bayern fans with the only reason to smile.
Despite being surrounded by four defenders outside the area, the 31-year-old took all of them out of the equation with a single swift turn before charging towards goal and placing his shot into the far corner for a fine individual effort.
NOVEMBER 9 – Bayern Munich 4-0 Borussia Dortmund (Match Day 11 – 2019/20)
With a perfectly-timed run to the near post to meet Benjamin Pavard’s cushioned cross with a firm header past Borussia Dortmund’s Roman Burki, Lewandowski became the first player in Bundesliga history to score in the first 11 match days of a campaign.
In fact, it was a record that he had already sealed two games earlier, with the previous best being goals in the first eight matches of a season by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
DECEMBER 21 – Bayern Munich 2-0 Wolfsburg (Match Day 17 – 2019/20)
It was the final round of matches before the mid-season break and Bayern signed off on the Hinrunde on a positive note as they beat Wolfsburg 2-0.
Although it was Joshua Zirkzee and Gnabry who provide the goals, Lewandowski still ended the first 17 games of the campaign with 19 goals to his name – a feat last achieved 43 years ago by the legendary Gerd Muller in 1976/77.
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His overall haul of 48 goals in all competition also meant he was the top scorer of 2019 among Europe’s top five leagues, and it would take a brave soul to bet against Lewandowski scoring more goals, breaking more records and making more history in 2020.