It’s a done deal. According to Herbert Hainer, Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona have reached an agreement on a transaction that would finally provide renowned striker Robert Lewandowski his La Liga dream transfer. A story that started in May and experienced twist after twist has come to an end.
Ultimately, neither a late third-party swoop nor a final encore with the German record champions were possible. Instead, in order to settle preseason plans for both teams, the record-breaker is currently traveling abroad on a rumored €45m + 5m — handsome but by no means extravagant.
A look forward
Players and clubs are both now free. Sadio Mané, a forward for Liverpool who is currently all a football fan could want for in a player, has already been signed by Bayern. Mané is a genuine superstar who demonstrated how good he could be playing centrally last season. He might be the most intriguing newcomer to the Bundesliga in years. He will have the opportunity to inject his unique style into Bayern’s No. 9 position from the start.
Lewandowski won’t have to reintegrate into a locker environment that he himself may have made uncomfortable with his snarky remarks this offseason. Instead, he will travel to the United States with Barça.
What about his new team? Perhaps there are still a few players the club can bribe or boot from the team. However, the entrance of the famous striker and the appearance of coach Xavi Hernández both guarantee a successful collaboration.
But let’s be clear: this is a significant adjustment. Bayern experienced — and sometimes took for granted — an extraordinary goal output during the Robert Lewandowski era. Who could forget the moment he came off the bench and sank Vfl Wolfsburg to the bottom of the sea with a stunning five goals in nine minutes?
Or in 2021, the year he surpassed Gerd Müller’s 49-year Bundesliga scoring record?
Or the incredible way he broke the record with his 41st goal, which he scored in the final seconds of the previous matchday, tapping in after every previous bounce had gone against him?
Over the course of eight fantastic years here, Lewandowski achieved remarkable individual and team triumphs, not the least of which are the perfect record of league titles and the 2020 Champions League trophy. His working relationship with Thomas Müller, a.k.a. Thomassist Müller, has become legendary. He will be as uniquely irreplaceable as Bayern’s glory days during this run will be legendary.
But all wonderful things must come to an end, just as flames turn to dust and LewanGOALskis to pals.
The team will advance because Bayern always does. It’s back to the drawing board for head coach Julian Nagelsmann, something the Xs and Os expert should appreciate. It’s an exciting chance for both the guys who are still on the roster and any new ones who may join later.
And for the leaving Lewandowski, it’s an opportunity to scale the tallest football peaks once more – in a different league, for a different team.
it is the end of an era.
Thomas Hiermayer/vi/DeFodi Images provided this picture via Getty Images.
Robert, good-bye and many thanks for everything.