Robert Lewandowski Stats: Is the Pole on course for the best-ever scoring season in club football?
At the age of 31 when most top sportspersons in general and footballers in particular approach the twilight of their careers, Robert Lewandowski has hit a purple patch.
Much like a bottle of good wine which improves with age, the prolific Pole has made his best-ever start to a season in 2019-20 and is well on course to produce one of the best seasons in European football.
Lewandowski became the first player to score in each of the first 11 games of a Bundesliga season before his scoring streak came to an end last weekend at Dusseldorf. The Poland international has 16 goals from 12 games in the German top-flight this season, which is 4 clear of 23-year-old Leipzig striker Timo Werner, in the Bundesliga scoring charts.
If the prolific marksman were to continue his present scoring rate in the Bundesliga, he would go past the legendary Gerd Muller's record-single season tally of 40 goals (1971-72) after just 31 games.
The best-ever single-season goal-tally in the top-5 football leagues in Europe (Italy, Germany, England, France, Spain) is 50 achieved by Lionel Messi for Barcelona in the 2011-12 season. Although that goal tally may elude Lewandowski as he is handicapped by playing in an 18-team league as opposed to the Argentinian playing in a 20-team league, Lewandowski's average of a league goal every 65.6 minutes this season is narrowly shaded by Messi's rate of scoring a league goal every 65.38 minutes in 2011-12.
In the Champions League this season, Lewandowski is one of only 2 players, the other being Erling Braut Haaland to score a goal in every group game. After Matchday 5, the Polish striker is averaging a goal every 43.7 minutes.
If Lewandowski were to continue his present scoring rate of 2 goals a game, he would become the first player since Cristiano Ronaldo (2017-18) to score in every group game of the Champions League, and would also go past Ronaldo's record of 11 group-stage goals set in the 2015-16 season.
The Bayern marksman is well on course to better Ronaldo's record of 17 goals in a Champions League season (2013-14), if Bayern are to make a deep run in this season's competition.
On course for the best-ever scoring season in club football?
Lionel Messi became the first player to score a stunning 50 goals in a La Liga season when he did so for Barcelona in 2011-12, en route to recording the best season in European club football by scoring 73 goals in all competitions.
The diminutive Argentinian scored 73 goals in 60 games in 6 different competitions that season, averaging 1.22 goals per game, and a goal every 71.5 minutes.
In 2019-20, Lewandowski has scored 27 goals in 20 games in all competitions, averaging 1.35 goal per game, and a goal every 63.4 minutes. If Bayern were to reach the final of the Champions League and DFB Pokal this season, Lewandowski would get to play a maximum of 33 more games in all competitions this season (22 in the Bundesliga, 7 in the UCL, 4 in the DFB Pokal).
If Lewandowski were to play all those games and scores at his present scoring rate in each competition (i.e., 1.33 goals/game in the Bundesliga, 2 goals/game in the UCL, and 0.5 goals/game in the DFB Pokal), he will score a total of 47 more goals (29 in the Bundesliga, 16 in the Champions League, and 2 in the DFB Pokal). It would swell his season goal-tally in all competitions to 74, which would break Messi's record and mark the best-ever season in European club football.
In a more realistic assessment, if one were to consider his present scoring rate of 1.35 goals per game (rather than goal/game in each competition separately), and Lewandowski were to play in each of those games, he would score 45 more goals which would swell his goal-tally in all competitions to 72.
In either case, Lewandowski is on course to equal or better the best-ever scoring season in club football.