Berlin, April 21: Bayern Munich’s tenth consecutive national title only seems like a side effect when the German league’s most flamboyant stars turn up for their supposedly last head-to-head duel.
Six times Bayern’s top scorer Robert Lewandowski and Dortmund’s scoring machine Erling Haaland have met in official matches. The seventh time this Saturday could be the last dance of the superstars together in the Bundesliga, reports Xinhua.
“They are international stars who are above everyone else in the league and are attracting the most international attention,” Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said ahead of Saturday’s German Clasico.
“There’s nothing to be happy about when we lose them,” Watzke added.
Melancholy and excitement come as the two greats meet at the Munich stadium, as the German league is in danger of losing its icons after this season.
While the Norwegian is said to be joining Manchester City, nine-time German champions Lewandowski are said to possibly go to Paris or Barcelona. Before that final, talks are planned with his Bavarian club.
No matter how things play out, fans are eager for kick-off in anticipation of an exciting night of football.
With Bayern winning all six games, Haaland scored five goals while the Pole netted eight times.
Haaland attracted football’s biggest clubs onto the international stage in just a few months, while Lewandowski shaped the history of the German league by setting several goalscoring records.
The six-time top scorer in the league scored 41 goals in the 2020-2021 season, surpassing German striker icon Gerd Muller’s record of 40 goals set in the 1971-72 season.
While Thomas Muller, 32, and Manuel Neuer, 36, are said to have agreed to a one-year extension until 2024, Lewandowski’s agent, Pini Zahavi, is demanding a two-year extension in addition to a salary increase.
Muller and Neuer’s new contracts are said to contain the option of an additional year depending on their fitness levels. It is not yet known if Lewandowski, 34, is following suit.
Rumors speak of the 2020 Champions League winner possibly heading to new shores. Bayern reportedly intend to use the transfer fee of around €40m to upgrade and rejuvenate their squad.
Dortmund have similar plans, as they intend to reinvest Haaland’s reported €75m release clause.
“We simply cannot compete with the big, rich clubs in the Premier League,” said Dortmund manager Watzke.
Bayern president Oliver Kahn said that “the full package of the Haaland deal is beyond our imagination. We have to take financial responsibility for our club.” The reports speak of 300 to 350 million euros in total investment that covers the agreement with the Citizens.
Bayern officials have yet to decide whether Lewandowski, despite his age, can be useful when it comes to the club’s plans to set up a restart after a disappointing season with German Cup and Champions League outings.
Just winning the national title doesn’t seem like enough.
Despite a checkered season, Bayern coach Nagelsmann said he is eager to win his first national championship.
To do the job, three points are missing. A victory this Saturday could establish an end point in this story. The Lewandowski matter could take a few more days.