He wasn’t good enough for the 2021 Ballon d’Or trophy, but Robert Lewandowski keeps racking up the milestones after his latest goal.
Lewandowski, having already equaled Gerd Muller’s record for Bundesliga goals in a calendar year earlier this week, scored in his final match of the 2021 calendar year, matching Cristiano Ronaldo’s incredible 2013 campaign with 69 total goals across a full 12-month period.
He did it with just four regulation minutes remaining in the calendar year, and of course, the goal was an acrobatic piece of brilliance to put Bayern through 4-0 over Wolfsburg.
Robert Lewandowski breaks Gerd Muller's 50-year-old record of most goals in a calendar year in the Bundesliga! 👏 pic.twitter.com/IrDsjGNa5m— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 17, 2021
Behind Lionel Messi’s unthinkable 91 goals in 2012, it makes Lewandowski the second-most prolific goalscorer over a calendar year in men’s soccer history.
And it was never truly in doubt for Lewandowski. Despite needing a goal in his final match of the season to equal Ronaldo’s mark, the bookmakers tabbed him at -330 before kickoff to score a goal anytime in the match.
The Polish international finished second to Messi in the Ballon d’Or voting a few weeks ago, a result that had many across the game believing he was robbed. Lewandowski bagged 43 Bundesliga goals in 2021 (19 this season and 24 last season), adding 11 Champions League goals (2 from last season and nine from this season’s competition), two from DFB-Pokal play, and 13 with the Polish national team to total to 69.
Lewandowski’s Bundesliga total for the calendar year eclipsed Muller’s total of 42 that had stood since 1972. His 2020-21 season total of 41 goals was 13 more than anyone else in the league. That total helped Bayern Munich to a storming title season, topping the Bundesliga table by 13 points over Borussia Dortmund.
This season, Bayern is six points above Dortmund at the summit, and Lewandowski leads the league in goals by three over Patrick Schick.
ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI BREAKS THE RECORD FOR THE MOST BUNDESLIGA GOALS IN A CALENDAR YEAR 🚨— GOAL (@goal) December 17, 2021
Gerd Muller's previous record of 42 had stood for 49 years 😱 pic.twitter.com/iggCkEfSIb
Nothing compares to Messi’s 2012, but Lewandowski has now equalled Ronaldo’s 2013 campaign when he led Real Madrid to an eventual Champions League title the next summer.
Could European glory be in store for Lewandowski? Bayern is set to begin its Champions League knockout stage quest against RB Salzburg on February 16.