Robert Lewandowski scored for Bayern Munich against Augsburg for a record 41st goal in one Bundesliga season on Saturday to erase former Munich icon Gerd Mueller from the record books.
Lewandowski, 32, was on target in the 90th minute with an easy tap-in to complete a 5-2 win as he gained sole possession of the record.
This has come after he drew level last weekend with former Bayern Munich great Mueller.
Mueller’s 40 goals had come in the 1971/1972 season and for many decades had appeared to be a record for eternity.
But, after netting 34 times last season, Poland striker Lewandowski achieved the feat even though he missed five of the 33 games played this season with injury and being rested.
“I have no words, when you try for 90 minutes and get the goal in the last minute. Thankfully I made it, I am very happy,” Lewandowski said. “I have to be grateful to the team.”
Lewandowski was frustrated by goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz on several occasions.
But when his Polish compatriot failed to hold on to a shot from Leroy Sane he was there to pounce and complete a sixth league top goalscorer crown with the 41-goal record.
“It was difficult to stay patient. I was a little disappointed not to score. But you have to fight for a legendary record like this,” he said.
Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki expressed his delight on Facebook: “Yes! Yes! Yes! Robert Lewandowski has done it!
“Forty-one goals in one Bundesliga season! A goal in the last seconds of the match. He is a legend!”
Mueller will be unaware of what happened because he is suffering from dementia and in a nursing home.
His wife, Uschi Mueller, said last week that he wouldn’t begrudge Lewandowski for breaking the record but had also made a small request that would have kept him in the books.
“Dear Robert Lewandowski, 40 goals are enough,” she said.
Freiburg coach Christian Streich and Augsburg helmsman Markus Weinzierl had also hoped that the tie would remain but Lewandowski had other ideas.
Lewandowski’s first season with 30 goals came in 2015/2016 and famously included five within a span of nine minutes against Wolfsburg.
Mueller’s overall record 365 top-flight goals also appeared to be for eternity but some are not so sure now.
This is because Lewandowski has moved within 88 goals with a tally of 277 for second place since a 2010 Bundesliga arrival at Borussia Dortmund.
The 32-year-old’s father was a junior European judo champion, mother a top-flight volleyball player in Poland, and wife a former fudokan-karate world champion.
He is rarely injured and super fit which should allow him a few more years.
Lewandowski was at times considered egotistic but that has changed in recent years, and becoming a real team player has made him even more lethal.
He has won everything from World Footballer to all club trophies with Bayern Munich.
He last won the 2020 UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup treble by finishing top goalscorer in all three events.
Lewandowski once put four goals behind Real Madrid in a 2013 UEFA Champions League semi-final while still at Dortmund.
He is also the most successful goalscorer in Poland’s national team with 66 goals.(dpa/NAN)