After a season in which he outscored six Bundesliga clubs despite missing a month through injury, Robert Lewandowski has been awarded the European Golden Shoe for his record–breaking 41 goals in the 2020–21 Bundesliga campaign.
“I’m very proud, very pleased,” he said after receiving the award at a ceremony at the club museum in the Allianz Arena in Munich on Tuesday, adding that he still couldn’t believe he had actually surpassed Gerd Müller’s 40 goals from the 1971–72 season.
“I have to say thank you to my wife. She is a great support for me and a motivation when things get a bit worse,” said the 33-year-old, whose wife, Anna, was among the select guests. “He is a wonderful person, athlete, partner, friend and husband,” she said, “I am so proud of him.”
Though last term was particularly exceptional, Lewandowski has long been a lethal finisher, notching 210 league goals in 224 Bundesliga appearances with Bayern to date. His movement, physicality, nous and composure set him apart from any other striker in Germany and only the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have prevented the Pole winning more individual honors to go with his enormous trophy haul.
“When I heard that you had won the Golden Shoe, I thought: ‘How? Only now?’ You can see how long it takes to get to the very top. But you’ve been at the top for a long time and you deserve this award,” said Jürgen Klopp, who coached Lewandowski at his first German club, Borussia Dortmund, by videolink.
His current boss, Julian Nagelsmann, also attended the ceremony and said his striker’s “terrific performance” would be “remembered forever.”
Last season was the sixth in a row in which Lewandowski passed the 20-goal mark in the Bundesliga and, with seven goals in five games already this term, he could be on to surpass his own record this time around.
After winning the FIFA Best award in 2020, a year when he won the Champions League, Bundesliga, German Cup and World Club Cup with Bayern, Lewandowski seems to be improving in his mid-30s. “It’s not over yet. We are still hungry for more titles,” he said.
Despite missing five games (four due to injury) Robert Lewandowski still managed to eclipse Gerd Müller’s single season mark of 40 goals. Thanks to a last-minute goal against Augsburg on the final day, the Pole scored his 41st of the season — one better than the record set by Gerd Müller in 1971-72.
In his 427 Bundesliga games for Bayern Munich between 1965 and 1979, Gerd Müller scored a remarkable 365 goals — a record for the ages. He scored more than once in 87 different games, including 32 hat tricks, 10 four-goal games and four five goal games — all league records.
Franck Ribery was able to hoist the Bundesliga trophy one more time in May 2019 before his 12-year stint at Bayern Munich came to an end. It was the ninth time the Frenchman was a German champion, the most league titles for a single player. For clubs, Bayern have won the most league championships with 29.
Karl-Heinz “Charly” Körbel took the field 602 times in the Bundesliga from 1972 to 1991. What’s more? He made all of his appearances for Eintracht Frankfurt.
No Bundesliga coach led as many clubs as Otto Rehhagel. At Offenbach, Bremen, Dortmund, Bielefeld, Düsseldorf, Bayern and Kaiserslautern, “King Otto” coached in 832 Bundesliga games. He won two league titles with Bremen and one with Kaiserslautern.
This record is shared by two Leverkusen players. Karim Bellarabi (right), scored a goal just nine seconds after the opening whistle against Dortmund in August 2014. One year later, Kevin Volland (left), then still playing for Hoffenheim, scored one just as quick against Bayern Munich.
Despite being subbed on at halftime, Bayern Munich goalscorer Robert Lewandowski scored five goals in a 5-1 win over Wolfsburg in September 2015. He scored all of them in a span of 8 minutes and 59 seconds. That goal onslaught also set records for the fastest hat trick and fastest four-goal performance in Bundesliga history.
Cologne’s Dieter Müller scored one more than Lewandowski did in August 1977 against Werder Bremen. It remains the only six-goal game in Bundesliga history. Müller scored the six goals between the 12th minute and 85th minute of a game that ended 7-2.
Borussia Mönchengladbach was in second place — tied on points with Cologne and 10 goals behind in goal difference — before the last game of the season on April 29, 1978. The Foals did everything they could against Borussia Dortmund to close the gap — Jupp Heynckes accounted for five of the goals by himself. But Cologne still became league champions after winning 5-0 over St. Pauli.
16 yellow cards: This single-season record is held jointly by Paderborn’s Klaus Gjasula (right) and Duisburg’s Tomasz Hajto. Gjasula in 2019-20 has equaled Hajto’s mark from 1998-99, and the Paderborn midfielder has a good chance of breaking it with four games still to play this term. Steffen Effenberg holds the career record, seeing 114 yellow cards during his 370-game career.
Jens Nowotny (second from left) and Luis Gustavo hold this negative record. Both were sent to the dressing room early eight times in their Bundesliga careers. Nowotny, who played for Karlsruhe and Leverkusen in the German top-flight, was shown straight red five times and a second yellow three times. Gustavo, who played for Hoffenheim, Bayern and Wolfsburg, saw only one straight red.
Subbed on, came onto the field, stopped suddenly, red card, sent off. That was the day for Frankfurt’s Marcel Titsch-Rivero (left) in Dortmund on May 14, 2011. His was on the field for 43 seconds, and no player in the Bundesliga has seen a red card faster. The earliest red card was shown to Cologne’s Youssef Mohamad; in August 2010, he was sent off 93 seconds after kickoff against Kaiserslautern.
Nikolce Noveski (256 Bundesliga games for Mainz) and Manfred Kaltz (581 for Hamburg) each scored six own goals in their Bundesliga careers. Noveski (pictured) put the ball in his own net twice over a span of 132 seconds against Eintracht Frankfurt in 2005, but scored at the correct end in the 2-2 draw. His assessment: “Nevertheless, my first hat trick!”
Stuttgart goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand didn’t allow a goal for the first 884 minutes of his 2003-04 season. It wasn’t until Matchday 9 that he finally fished a ball out of his own net. Werder Bremen’s Angelos Charisteas was the one who broke the streak, but Stuttgart won the game in the end 3-1.
On May 21, 1988 at the spry age of 43 years and 184 days, Klaus “Tanne” Fichtel took the field for the last time in the Bundesliga for Schalke. Fichtel, who played for the Royal Blues and Werder Bremen, made his first of 552 Bundesliga appearances on August 14, 1965.
Youssoufa Moukoko broke Nuri Sahin’s record when he made his top-flight debut for Borussia Dortmund against Hertha Berlin on 22 November 2020, just one day after turning 16. A few games later, Moukoko even got on the scoresheet.
Having made his debut just a day after turning 16, Borussia Dortmund’s Youssoufa Moukoko didn’t have to wait long before he became the youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history. His strike against Union Berlin came in a Dortmund loss, but broke Florian Wirtz’s record and showed the league of the youngster’s talent.