Robert Lewandowski confirmed yesterday that he wants to leave Bayern Munich this summer amid reports Barcelona are ready to offer the 33-year-old star striker a three-year contract. Lewandowki banged in his 35th league goal this campaign in a 2-2 draw at Wolfsburg on the last weekend of the Bundesliga season, then dropped a bombshell.
“It could well be my last game for Bayern. I can’t say 100 percent, but it could be. We have to find the best solution for the club and me,” he said. Lewandowski confirmed he has told Bayern sports director Hasan Salihamidzic he will not extend his contract, which expires in 2023 and “that when an offer comes, we have to think about it”. “I have a year left, but we have to find the best solution for both sides,” the Polish striker added.
The back-to-back winner of FIFA’s best male player award has won every title available since joining Bayern in 2014, including eight Bundesliga trophies for a total of ten having won two with ex-club Dortmund. He also lifted the Champions League in 2020.
In Wolfsburg, Lewandowski scored a crisp header from a Thomas Mueller after defender Josip Stanisic gave Bayern an early lead. Wolfsburg clawed their way back as Danish forward Jonas Wind scored, then veteran striker Max Kruse levelled for the hosts.
Elswhere, Erling Haaland signed off his final appearance for second-placed Borussia Dortmund in a 2-1 home win over Hertha Berlin. The Norwegian star is set to complete a long-awaited move to Manchester City for next season. Haaland equalised from the penalty spot in the second half to cancel out Ishak Belfodil’s early goal for Hertha at Signal Iduna Park. Dortmund’s 17-year-old striker Youssoufa Moukoko came off the bench and grabbed the winner, just seconds after replacing Axel Witsel.
Haaland applauded home fans after the final whistle while Dortmund also said goodbye to sports director Michael Zorc. The defeat pushed Hertha into 16th, which means a two-legged relegation play-off against the team which finishes third in the second division, currently Hamburg. “The boys are totally exhausted and worked up,” said Hertha sports director Fredi Bobic. “They must now have the belief to pull it together in these two games.”
There were dramatic scenes in Stuttgart where Japan midfielder Wataru Endo scored a stoppage-time winner to seal a 2-1 win over Cologne. The win saw Stuttgart claw their way to 15th and guaranteed survival next season. Stuttgart striker Sasa Kalajdzic made amends for having a first-half penalty saved by heading in the resulting corner 26 seconds later.
Cologne equalised when veteran French striker Anthony Modeste headed in his 20th goal of the season until Endo struck. Stuttgart fans stormed the pitch at the final whistle to kick off the celebrations.
“It feels good, but I have a sore head from all the shouting and celebrating,” said head coach Pellegrino Matarazzo. “It was a great moment. I’m so happy for the boys. You never forget a moment like today.”
Cologne finish seventh to qualify for the Europa Conference League. Union Berlin will play in the Europa League next season after finishing fifth after Nigeria striker Taiwo Awoniyi netted twice to seal a 3-2 win. Union raced into a 2-0 lead as Grischa Proemel gave the hosts an early lead before Awoniyi converted a penalty.
Bochum roared back as Simon Zoller headed in a goal, then Eduard Loewen levelled before Awoniyi grabbed a late winner. Freiburg finished sixth and punched their Europa League ticket despite losing 2-1 at Bayer Leverkusen, whose Argentinian defender Exequiel Palacios scored the winner seven minutes into stoppage time.
Arminia Bielefeld joined Greuther Fuerth in being relegated from Germany’s top flight despite a 1-1 draw at RB Leipzig, who finished fourth and qualified for the Champions League. Germany midfielder Jonas Hofmann scored twice as Borussia Moenchengladbach thrashed Hoffenheim 5-1. Brazil defender Tutu and Colombia striker Rafael Borre hit the net as Eintracht Frankfurt tuned up for Wednesday’s Europa League final against Rangers with a 2-2 draw at Mainz.
Borussia Dortmund 2 (Haland 68-pen, Moukoko 84) Hertha Berlin 1 (Belfodil 18-pen); VfL Wolfsburg 2 (Wind 45, Kruse 58) Bayern Munich 2 (Stanisic 17, Lewandowski 40); Bayer Leverkusen 2 (Alario 54, Palacios 90+7) Freiburg 1 (Haberer 88); Union Berlin 3 (Proemel 5, Awoniyi 25-pen, 88) VfL Bochum 2 (Zoller 55, Loewen 79); Borussia Moenchengladbach 5 (Stindl 26, Plea 43-pen, Hofmann 45+1, 69, Embolo 53) Hoffenheim 1 (Kramaric 3); VfB Stuttgart 2 (Kalajdzic 12, Endo 90+2) Cologne 1 (Modeste 59); Mainz 05 2 (Ingvartsen 10, 49) Eintracht Frankfurt 2 (Tutu 26, Borre 35); Augsburg 2 (Caligiuri 11-pen, Gregoritsch 84) Greuther Fuerth 1 (Ngankam 23); Arminia Bielefeld 1 (Serra 70) RB Leipzig 1 (Orban 90+3)
Bayern Munich’s Polish forward Robert Lewandowski poses with Bundesliga top scorer trophy after the final league game against VfL Wolfsburg in Wolfsburg, northern Germany, yesterday. (Reuters)