To a new future

sA final business trip to the 2021/22 season ended in a frightening fashion. When Robert Lewandowski left VfL Wolfsburg early on Saturday evening, he didn’t look like someone who was in the mood for a string of festivities. It was the weekend when Bayern Munich wanted to celebrate their 10th championship in a row, first in Neucherberg and then at Marienplatz.

However, it was another weekend when Lewandowski spoke out loud about his future. “This will probably be my last game for Bayern Munich,” said the striker after the 2-2 draw with Wolfsburg in FL. Then Lewandowski gave a series of interviews and unequivocally confirmed that he wanted to leave the club. When he’s allowed to do it and where he’s drawn to, it’s currently imposed on everything in a party-loving club.

Bayern Munich fans did not want to let the consequences of Lewandowski’s character spoil their good mood, both in Wolfsburg and in Munich. Lewandowski received a loud chant “Lewy, Lewy” in both places. The surface of the club that dominates the German League continues to shine. Under it, cracks appear in the structure that create a working pressure. Lewandowski has made it clear that he would like a change to be made and that he has not received an offer to extend the contract in Munich. On the other hand, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic states that Lewandowski is contractually committed with Bayern Munich until the summer of 2023. Not letting such a contradictory mixture spoil the good mood to celebrate the championship requires a great mental performance.

Above all, his exit from the sports theater has been a source of food for thought. Of course, Lewandowski scored another goal in Wolfsburg. In the final stages of the vital match, the Poles were allowed to wear the captain’s armband because Manuel Neuer was substituted early. The goalkeeper lunged across the field to hand the striker himself an important piece of cloth for his left arm. But a temporary upgrade couldn’t stop what followed shortly after the end of the game. Lewandowski had to endure a long series of questions in which he created facts from his point of view. “I have made the decision not to extend my contract with Bayern Munich,” said the exceptional 33-year-old. He spoke to both Salihamidzic and coach Julian Nagelsmann about this decision in advance. Unfortunately, no agreement has been reached on how to interpret and live by this decision.

Serious drama about a particularly valuable working relationship that matches the current state of Bayern Munich. In the first half in Wolfsburg, it all looked as if the defending champions will play against Lower Saxony as they please. But two goals from favorite candidate Josip Stanisic (min 17) and Lewandowski (40) were followed by two strange exits. Jonas Wind (45th) and Max Kroes (58th) scored for Wolfsburg. At the obligatory press conference, Nagelsmann delivered many words of praise for the prankster and opinionated Kroos.

When the Bayern Munich coach was asked to comment on Lewandowski’s personal details, his willingness to provide information reached its limits. “It’s never good to lose a good player,” Nagelsmann said. The task until next year is to find a striker who can replace Lewandowski. That sounded so demure, so grounded, and conveyed hope that you could count on Lewandowski for at least one more season.

Whatever the outcome of the Bavarian tug of war over Lewandowski, there was something deceptive about his final moments in a season that ended with just one title win. When all the interviews, meetings, and hugs were completed, Nagelsmann took plenty of time to fulfill requests for autographs, take cellphone photos and even kick soccer balls into the stands as gifts.

Exactly where the coach thanked the audience and said goodbye, Lewandowski had left a few minutes before him. He held the title of top scorer in his hand because, with 35 goals, he was the top scorer in the German Bundesliga for the fifth time in a row. But no matter how loud the crowd was, Lewandowski only waved to him briefly and eloquently so that he could leave as quickly as possible. When he left Wolfsburg with the Bayern shirt number 9, he looked pensive. One of his last sentences in the interview was: “So we’ll probably have to wait a bit.”

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