Jupp Heynckes the Bayern Munich veteran coach, has pronounced Robert Lewandowski as one of the best three strikers in the world. Heynckes comments appear to be well timed as they are coming on the heels of the crucial meeting between German football & two biggest clubs with Bayern Munich due to face Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Pokal for a seventh consecutive season.
Bayern will be aiming to get revenge for their elimination in the semi final stage of the competition by Dortmund last season and in view Peter Stoger’s side poor run of form in recent games, 10bet odds in favour of Bavarian Club is bigger.
Star striker, Lewandowski, had joined Bayern from Dortmund in the Summer of 2014 damaging his legacy at the Westfalenstadion in the process. With a year remaining in his contract, the Poland International had been been a identified as a primary target by then manager– Pep Guardiola– but without a suitable replacement on the horizon. Dortmund had knocked back all advances with the Pole forced to see out his contract. Lewandowski, a key part of the Jurgen Klopp’ s team that secured back to back title triumphs in 2011 and 2012, was eventually secured on a free transfer the following year and has gone on to become a key part of a Bayern side that has dominated the Bundesliga.
The Pole has won three successive League medals since his move and is in line for a fourth as Bayern sit comfortably atop the Bundesliga standings inspite of a slow start under former coach, Ancelloti.
Speaking at a news conference, Heynckes, who holds the striker in high esteem said: ” He definitely one of the best strikers or centre forwards, whatever you want to call it in the world. There are not many around with his quality. I am reluctant to give you any other names — but for me he is one of the best three strikers in the world.”
“Unfortunately, in recent weeks he has continually had problems with his patella. He told me on Friday that he was feeling better and you could see in the game at Stuttgart that he was much livelier and able to cover a much bigger operating range.”
Heynckes, 72, a former striker for the Germany national team, also praised Lewandowski’s work ethic.
“I know from my own experience if you have persistent physical problems you cannot perform at 100 percent," he said. "Nevertheless, he is always committed and even when not training is working in the gym on his fitness and body. I am very pleased with him.
He will definitely be an extremely vital player for us during the second half of the season. He can score the goals our team needs — this distinguishes him.”
Meanwhile, long serving Dutch winger– Arjen Robben– who is in the final year of his contract, has been ruled out the Dortmund game as he has only just begun training following a lengthy lay off.
Heynckes confirmed the winger’s absence alongside that of Spain International Thiago Alcantara and Club Captain Manuel Neuer. The three represent the key absences from in an otherwise full Bayern squad.
Robben, who has scored 11 goals in 21 games against Dortmund, including a late winner in the 2013 Champions League final at Wembley, has been battling to overcome a nagging sciatic nerve problem and has not played since the Champions League game at Anderlecht on Nov. 22.
Heynckes said: “You have to consider how I have handled injured players in recent weeks and I will treat Arjen exactly the same. He could aggravate his injury — a player needs to train with the team for one or two weeks first after such a lengthy injury.
“Arjen trained with the team for the first time yesterday. He is feeling relatively good and is almost pain free. It would be incomprehensible to put him in the squad tomorrow. We resume after the winter break in nearly three weeks time and he would not be able to start the game anyway — why should we risk him for 20 minutes at the end?
“We have spoken about this and he has even admitted it would be too early.”