Robert Lewandowski goal matches Ronaldo’s record in second-best calendar year ever

If it wasn’t good enough for the Ballon d’Or, Robert Lewandowski may have to mark a significant milestone.

Lewandowski, who had already equaled Gerd Muller’s record for goals in the Bundesliga in a calendar year earlier this week, scored in his final game of the 2021 calendar year, equaling Cristiano Ronaldo’s incredible 2013 campaign with 69 total goals in 12 full months. He did so with just four regulation minutes remaining in the calendar year and of course the goal was a brilliant acrobatic piece to put Bayern 4-0 over Wolfsburg.

Behind Lionel Messi’s unthinkable 91 goals in 2012, Lewandowski becomes the second most prolific scorer in a calendar year in men’s football history.

And it was never really in doubt for Lewandowski. Despite needing a goal in his final game of the season to match Ronaldo’s mark, the sportsbooks put him at -330 before kickoff to score a goal at any point in the game.

The Polish international finished second to Messi in the Ballon d’Or vote a few weeks ago, a result that made many throughout the game believe he had been stolen. Lewandowski scored 43 goals in the Bundesliga in 2021 (18 this season and 24 last season), adding 11 goals in the Champions League (2 from last season and nine from this season’s competition), two from DFB-Pokal and 13 with the Polish team for a total of 69.

Lewandowski’s Bundesliga total for the calendar year eclipsed Gerd Muller’s total of 42 who had been standing since 1972. His season total of 41 goals was 13 more than any other in the league. That total helped Bayern Munich to an irresistible championship season, topping the Bundesliga table by 13 points over Borussia Dortmund. This season, Bayern are six points ahead of Dortmund at the top, leading the league in goals by two over Patrick Schick.

Nothing compares to Messi’s 2012, but Lewandowski has now matched Ronaldo’s campaign in 2013, where he led Real Madrid to an eventual Champions League title next summer. Does European glory await Lewandowski? Bayern are set to begin their quest for the Champions League knockout phase against RB Salzburg on February 16.