FC Bayern can wrap up their 29th German championship title in the home match against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, and their position is in no small part due to Robert Lewandowski’s 22 goals so far this team. The Poland captain talks about his hunt for a fourth top scorer trophy, the farewell to three Bayern legends and the chance to win the title in front of the home faithful.
Robert Lewandowski interviewed
You can seal a seventh championship title in a row in the season finale at the Allianz Arena on Saturday. Hand on heart, have you always believed in it despite being nine points adrift at times?
Robert Lewandowski: We said during the winter training camp in Qatar we could set off on a winning run any time, and that Dortmund might squander points. We said to ourselves, if we close up soon we’ll still have a chance. We’ve achieved it, and fortunately it’s all up to us before the last matchday.
It would be the first time that you’ve won the title at the Allianz Arena. Does that make it more special?
Lewandowski: I’ve dreamed of winning the championship title in front of our own fans. It would be a great feeling, a nice moment! I know the feeling of winning the championship title on the road, but I think it’s completely different at home, when the atmosphere is still hot and you don’t celebrate after winning it two, three weeks beforehand. It can be special. I hope we can achieve it on Saturday, then we can celebrate with the fans.
You personally have never experienced such a tight title race. Are you even more fired up in daily training?
Lewandowski: Not necessarily in training, but I’ll probably feel some pressure during the match. We’ve always sealed it early over the last few years, and now we have to play through to the end. We’ve had a duel with Dortmund over the entire season, we also had phases when we didn’t play so well. If we win the title it’ll definitely have been the hardest one of the last few years.
The goal difference might be decisive. The 5-0 victory over Dortmund in April helped a lot. Did the match show once again that you’re up for it when it counts?
Lewandowski: We laid down the marker, we also showed ourselves we’re ready to win the title. Dortmund performed really well in the first half of the season and became a bit weaker then. We hoped Dortmund would have a difficult phase because it’s energy-sapping to contest the Bundesliga, the Champions League and the DFB Cup together. We were ready and set off on a winning run.
Upcoming opponents Frankfurt have enjoyed a great season but lost their last two Bundesliga matches. What kind of match do you expect on Saturday?
Lewandowski: You can’t judge it by the 2-0 defeat to Mainz. I think they weren’t completely fit three days after the Europa League exit and the travel-induced fatigue. Of course it won’t be easy for Frankfurt to come here and play as they usually do after the two matches. But that doesn’t mean Frankfurt will play like they did against Mainz. They’ll turn in a different display.
What exactly will it come down to on Saturday?
Lewandowski: We must stick to our game plan from the first minute. If we keep up our rhythm, if we attack and try to score, if we put our quality into practice, we’ll win.
Your fourth top scorer trophy is all but wrapped up. Is there space for another trophy in your living room?
Lewandowski: (laughing) Sure, I’ll always find space for another trophy! Of course I have a cushion but I must probably score another goal, just to be sure, also for the championship title. But it would be ideal if we won the championship title and I sealed the top scorer trophy. Two trophies together would be perfect!
If so, you’ll have won the most top scorer trophies behind only Gerd Müller. What does that mean to you?
Lewandowski: It’s a great honour for me to be second to this great legend. He’s won the Torjägerkanone (the German Golden Boot) seven times, I’m a bit behind. But it would still be special and mean a lot to me if I could win it on Saturday.
You visited Rafinha during his farewell press conference on Tuesday. How did that come about?
Lewandowski: I hurried after training to make it to Rafa’s conference in time. He’s a great player and a great guy. What we’ve achieved together over so many years will remain forever. This friendship will last after our careers. We’ll surely see one another often, we’ll stay in touch.
How will FC Bayern look without Franck Ribéry, Rafinha and Arjen Robben?
Lewandowski: An extraordinary era is coming to an end. All three are great guys, they’ve achieved a lot, we’ll miss them. If three players like this leave FC Bayern after so many years it’s always a bit sad, we’ve been living, training and playing with them for so many years. But when something comes to an end something new arrives. We must be ready for that!