(Berlin) Young Erling Haaland vs. Master Robert Lewandowski! The soccer match "Klassiker" between the German clubs Dortmund and Bayern offers Tuesday a duel between the two top scorers of the Champions League this season.
Soccer: apprentice Haaland challenges master Lewandowski
Soccer: - 27-05-20
Incredible symmetry, the 19-year-old Norwegian apprentice and the 31-year-old Polish master have both scored 41 goals in 35 games in all competitions this season.
Hansi Flick, Bayern's coach, believes that a comparison between the two is premature: "Haaland, this is his first season [...] Robert has been playing for several years on a world level. But Haaland has enormous talent, ”he admits.
No offense to Flick, the two scorers already have something in common:
The two are accumulating exceptional statistics this season. In the Champions League, currently suspended at the knockout stage, Lewandowski leads the scoring table with 11 goals. Haaland followed closely with 10 goals, eight for RB Salzburg in the fall and two with Dortmund against Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16 (he will no longer score, the BVB being eliminated).
In the Bundesliga, veteran Lewandowski is well ahead with 27 goals scored in 25 games. The young man from Borussia has scored ten times in ten games since his arrival in January, but he is clearly ahead of his elder brother in frequency of goals: one every 69 minutes against one every 82 minutes for "Lewy".
Lewandowski has already been a four-time top scorer in nine seasons.
Lewandowski’s career climax remains his quadruple against Real Madrid, in Dortmund’s jersey, in the 2013 Champions League semi-final first leg (4-1, and qualification for the final).
In the Bundesliga, his quintuplet succeeded in less than ten minutes against Wolfsburg with Bayern in September 2015, when he entered as a substitute, has never been equaled in any major European championship.
Haaland is the first player under the age of twenty to have scored in his first five C1 matches. In September, at the age of 19 and 58 days, he became the third youngest author of a hat-trick (against Genk) in the competition. Only the legendary Raul and Wayne Rooney had managed to be earlier!
His hat-trick and two doubles for his first three Bundesliga games in January also sparked real madness in Germany.
The “springboard” Dortmund
Shinji Kagawa, Ousmane Dembélé, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mats Hummels…: the Borussia Dortmund has for years been a place of high-level discovery for nuggets to polish.
Robert Lewandowski was one of them, found at 20 at Lech Poznan in Poland, and recruited for 4.5 million euros! With Borussia, he was twice German champion and reached the final of the Champions League 2013. Before being recruited in 2014, at the end of the contract, by Bayern.
Haaland arrived in Dortmund at the age of 19, after a first part of the stratospheric season with RB Salzburg. He signed a contract until June 2024.
The two players also have in common that they do not belong to very large football nations, and that, unless they are surprised, they are unlikely to win a major title with their selection.
Rigor and professionalism
Stars in the field, Haaland like Lewandowski are discreet in their private lives. Far from the bling-bling of some footballers, they cultivate the image of hard workers and totally focused on their career.
"He is one of those guys who are fully training," said 2014 world champion Mats Hummels of Haaland. "I particularly like his approach to work at his age."
Lewandowski has been believed for years to be a paragon of professionalism. "In his mind, he thinks of eating well, sleeping well, training well 24 hours a day," said Pep Guardiola, who was his coach at Bayern (2014-2016). "He's never hurt, because he focuses on these things."
His very strict diet is concocted by his personal coach: his wife Anna, a former Polish international karate. And in the locker room, his teammates called him "The Body" for his body sculpted by bodybuilding.
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