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Robert Lewandowski: A Transfer Without A Winner

Some don't have a striker anymore, others don't move up: Robert Lewandowski goes to Barcelona and in the end nobody could be happy with it.

Months of alternating theater came to an end at the weekend. Robert Lewandowski prevailed. The Polish striker will leave FC Bayern and switch to FC Barcelona, ​​there is talk of a transfer fee of almost 50 million euros. Who is the winner of this poker? A five point check:

1. Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski and FC Bayern – this success story, which is now ending, could have continued for at least two more years. Behind Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller, who have been with the club longer, the Pole was one of the pillars of the team that was serial winners in the Bundesliga. Lewandowski was Bayern's top scorer six times, once with a record 41. In May Oliver Kahn was still saying "Basta", now the chairman of the board has to realize that his club has lost appeal and authority. So far, the rule has been that FC Bayern separates from the player and not the other way around.

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FC Bayern receives a lot of money for this - more than it spent on its new star Sadio Mané. The player from Liverpool is certainly not worse than Lewandowski, but he plays in a different position and has other strengths. Like Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sané, Kingsley Coman, he likes to be sent deep with through passes. Lewandowski may be technically weaker, but he was the enormously clever target player of an offensive team, especially harmonizing with Müller. The club and Julian Nagelsmann have to manage such a "match" again. They don't seem to have a perfect replacement at the moment.

2. Robert Lewandowski

Lewandowski always wanted to go to a really big club, he flirted with Real Madrid a few years ago, but he doesn't move up. FC Barcelona may be one of the big names in international football, but the club has been reeling for years. He played in the last final in the Champions League in 2015. He then suffered many heavy defeats: 0:4 in Liverpool, 0:3 in Rome, 2:8 against Bayern. In the pre-season even Benfica Lisbon and Eintracht Frankfurt were too strong. Not even in the Europa League was it enough for the semi-finals. A decade ago Barça's Tikitaka was the benchmark, today physical football is modern and the team is not well positioned.

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You don't normally catch up on this backlog that quickly. Especially since the football that the Catalans and their coach Xavi stand for is unstable. It only works if strong individual players get used to it over a longer period of time. In any case, the probability of moving into the final of the Champions League with Barcelona within the next two years is very small. FC Bayern, on the other hand, may not be as outstanding as they were five or ten years ago, but they are still one of the six to eight clubs that are believed to be capable of winning the big title.

3. FC Barcelona

This transfer does not fit the philosophy that once made this club so strong. The heavily indebted club are paying close to €50m for a striker who turns 34 next month. It will now also be seen whether Lewandowski will live up to his reputation as a world-class player or whether those who deny him this title are correct. Sure, he has outstanding statistics in the Bundesliga, but he has rarely scored for Bayern in the big games of the Champions League. 

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In the knockout round, where the competition is really just getting started, his rate dropped significantly. There are people in Munich who say: Lewandowski depended more on Bayern than Bayern depended on Lewandowski. As a striker, he was the beneficiary of an era of Bayern dominance.

4. The Bundesliga

After Erling Haaland, the league loses its second outstanding striker. The long-standing Lewandowski hype in Germany is now being put to the test. Maybe it will soon turn out that the many goals he has scored speak at least as much against the Bundesliga as for him. That it is much easier to score 30 goals per season in the Bundesliga than in any other top European league.

5. The fans

Lewandowski became a world footballer in Munich. It's not just the kids who wear his jersey on Germany's sports fields and on the street. Now this liaison ended with a war of roses. Both sides spoke badly of each other in public to build pressure. Rumors were spread and untruths were told. In order to strike a conciliatory tone after the decision, Lewandowski speaks of a "difficult decision". Will someone take that away from him? Some might say: That's what professional football is like. But that's not true. Rarely does it go so smoothly. It does not speak for the Polish striker or for the club that their joint success story ends in this way without any melancholy.

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