Holders Bayern Munich begin their Champions League defence with the visit of Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, in a game that will pit Robert Lewandowski against Luis Suarez.

Liverpool, winners in 2019, travel to Ajax, and Real Madrid host Shakhtar Donetsk, with two of the competition's most successful clubs hoping to avoid some worrying runs of defeats.

Antonio Conte's Inter tackle Borussia Monchengladbach and Manchester City host Porto, a team who boast a rather unfortunate record when it comes to games on English soil.

Here is some of the key Opta data from day two of matchday one.

Ajax v Liverpool: Can Firmino stop the rot?

This will be Liverpool's first meeting with Ajax since the 1966-67 European Cup, when the Dutch side prevailed 7-3 on aggregate in the last 16.

Liverpool's campaign last season ended at the same stage with back-to-back losses to Atletico Madrid. Should they lose in Amsterdam, it will be the first time since Brendan Rodgers was in charge in October to November 2014 that they have suffered three consecutive Champions League defeats.

Perhaps Roberto Firmino is the man to help them. He has been directly involved in 26 goals (15 scored, 11 assisted) in 33 Champions League matches; since his debut in 2017-18, the only other player with 10 or more goals and assists in that time is Kylian Mbappe (13 goals, 13 assists).

 

Bayern Munich v Atletico Madrid: Lewandowski has history in his sights

Bayern were the first team in history to win every game en route to lifting the trophy last season, and their 11-game winning run is already the longest ever in the competition.

Should Robert Lewandowski score, he will become the first player to do so in 10 Champions League group games in a row. He currently shares the record of nine with Cristiano Ronaldo, who did so from 2012 to 2014.

Atletico have only won twice in their previous 10 group games away from home, but Luis Suarez could give them the boost they need – he has scored five goals in his last five starts in the competition, as many as he managed in his previous 31 starts combined.

 

Real Madrid v Shakhtar Donetsk: Zidane puts 100 per cent record on the line

Real Madrid have been in the Champions League group stage 28 times and have never failed to reach the next round. Leeds United, who did so twice, are the only other team to feature in more than one group stage and boast a 100 per cent record.

That said, Madrid lost their final two games last season – both legs of the last-16 tie with Manchester City – and losing to Shakhtar Donetsk would put them on a three-match losing streak in the Champions League or European Cup for the first time since September 1986.

With captain Sergio Ramos injured, Zinedine Zidane will have concerns about his defence. At least the forward line is in capable hands: Karim Benzema has managed four goals and two assists across six consecutive home games in the competition, and Shakhtar have failed to keep a clean sheet in 22 Champions League matches in a row.

Manchester City v Porto: More English misery?

Porto have played 20 away games against English sides in Europe and have failed to win any. In fact, they have lost 17 of those games and have not scored in the previous seven. They do at least go into this contest off a run of just two defeats in 16 Champions League group-stage matches.

City have a pretty strong recent record in the group stage, having gone unbeaten in 11 games since a surprise 2-1 loss to Lyon in September 2018. They also have Raheem Sterling in sharp form: the forward has scored 20 goals in the competition since his debut for City in September 2015, a tally only Harry Kane can match among English players in that time.

 

Other fixtures:

Inter v Borussia Monchengladbach:

9 – Romelu Lukaku has scored nine goals in 11 appearances in European competition for Inter. Since the start of last season, only Robert Lewandowski (15) and Erling Haaland (10) have netted more across the Champions League and Europa League.

8 – Strike partner Lautaro Martinez has scored five in six Champions League starts and eight in 14 in Europe overall for the Nerazzurri.

 

Salzburg v Lokomotiv Moscow:

10 – Since September 2018, Lokomotiv Moscow have lost 10 Champions League games, more than any other club in that time.

16 – Salzburg scored 16 group-stage goals last season but finished third in their group. The only other team to score that many and get knocked out were Chelsea in 2012-13.

 

Midtjylland v Atalanta:

16 – Atalanta have scored at least once in 16 of their previous 17 European games, including nine in three matches in last season's knockouts. Josip Ilicic has nine goals in 13 European appearances for the club.

18 – Midtjylland conceded 18 goals in eight matches in the 2015-16 Europa League, their previous involvement in Europe. No team conceded more that season.

 

Olympiacos v Marseille:

3 – This will be Andre Villas-Boas' first Champions League game since March 2016. He has lost his most recent three matches in the competition.

41 – Steve Mandanda has made 41 appearances in the competition, the most for any Marseille player in history. The goalkeeper accounts for 37 per cent of the total games played by current Marseille players in this tournament.

Hansi Flick is dreaming of a Champions League campaign to match last season's title-winning effort from Bayern Munich. 

The Bundesliga giants were imperious on the European stage, winning all 11 matches before lifting the trophy with a 1-0 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the final. 

Before that, Flick's side had destroyed Chelsea 7-1 on aggregate in their last-16 tie and stunned Barcelona with an 8-2 quarter-final thrashing in Lisbon that will live long in the memory. 

Having become the first team to win the competition with a perfect record - they also defeated Lyon in the semi-finals - the bar has been set high ahead of their defence, which begins with Wednesday's visit of Atletico Madrid. 

"Our goal is always to be as successful as possible in the Champions League," said Flick, who has had to contend with the loss of Thiago Alcantara to Liverpool this season. 

"Ideally, it should be like last season, but I know it is extremely difficult. There are great opponents in the Champion League. It has to be game by game. 

"It is a different team from last season and every team has its strengths and weaknesses. 

"As for now, I am fairly satisfied. We have had only one week of training with everyone together, but there is more depth in our squad now. 

"What's important is that the players pick up as few injuries as possible. We have to look after them. 

"If we look at it game by game, I'm sure that we have the quality to be successful – maybe even as successful as last year."

The Group A opener against Atletico will pit Flick against an experienced campaigner in the shape of Diego Simeone, a man he respects greatly. 

"It will be a game that will be on equal terms because Atletico are a team that reflects on the pitch what their coach Diego Simeone stands for and that is passion," Flick said. 

"I look forward to the game and the coach who has been doing outstanding work there for the past nine years." 

This will be the seventh meeting between Bayern and Atletico in the competition, with the German team edging the head-to-head record after three wins and two losses. 

The last time they were drawn in the same group, each side won their home match 1-0 and went on to qualify from the knockout phase. 

Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski will be aiming to become the first player to score in 10 consecutive Champions League fixtures in the group stage, moving him clear of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Robert Lewandowski admits Bayern Munich "were not good enough" in the second half of their 4-1 win over Arminia Bielefeld as Hansi Flick criticised his side's "careless" nature.

Thomas Muller and Lewandowski scored two goals each at Bielefelder Alm to put Bayern four goals in front by the 51st minute in their first game back after a two-week break.

However, the champions' wait for a Bundesliga clean sheet stretched into a third game after Ritsu Doan pulled one back in a second half that saw Corentin Tolisso sent off late on.

Bayern had chances to further extend their lead but failed to take them and Lewandowski concedes his side took their foot off the gas against the recently promoted side.

"The first 45 minutes we clearly showed that we wanted to win," Lewandowski, who has now scored against every current Bundesliga side, told Sky Sport Germany.

"We scored three goals and made a few good chances. However, Arminia played well with the ball.

"They're showing this season that they're up for a fight and can put together some good performances. 

"We weren't good enough in the second half. We had two or three chances to score, but we made two or three errors. After a long break the first game back is always important."

Muller assisted Lewandowski's second goal and the prolific striker played a part in both of his team-mate's strikes, taking them to a combined 12 goals in 13 games this season.

But while pleased with the link-up play between his in-form attacking duo, head coach Hansi Flick agrees Bayern could have offered a lot more in the second half.

"The first half was close to what we want. But we had about five minutes after where we were too careless," he said at his post-match news conference. 

"I'm not pleased about that and that made our lives somewhat difficult. For me, Thomas Muller with Robert Lewandowski were our two best players in the match. 

"Of course we can defend better than we did, but we're also missing some training sessions. It will be a challenge, but there is no other option and for that reason we'll take it."

Victory for Bayern - their second in a row in the league since suffering a shock 4-1 loss to Hoffenheim in their last away match - moves them to within a point of leaders RB Leipzig.

Bielefeld dropped to 14th, meanwhile, and head coach Uwe Neuhaus is not using the calibre of opposition as an excuse for his side's below-par first-half display.

"The fact that Bayern have another level of quality, that we know," he said. "We knew before the game too that we could lose by a lot of goals. 

"But nonetheless we aren't happy with the result, particularly with the first half. We still have the capacity to improve at the back and in attack."

Robert Lewandowski completed the Bundesliga set as Arminia Bielefeld became the latest club to suffer against the Bayern Munich striker this season. 

Back in action for his club after international duty with Poland, Lewandowski continued his hot start to the new season on Saturday, scoring twice as the reigning champions triumphed 4-1 on their travels. 

His first goal doubled Bayern's advantage following Thomas Muller's eighth-minute opener and also saw the 32-year-old complete an impressive personal achievement. 

Thanks to his 25th-minute strike against newly promoted Bielefeld, Lewandowski has found the net against all 18 teams currently in the German top flight – and that includes his current employers. 

The former Borussia Dortmund player added another in first-half stoppage time to take his tally in the league to seven in four appearances.

Lewandowski scored all four in a 4-3 victory over Hertha Berlin earlier in the month, though he had to make do with just a brace this time.

Hansi Flick opted to take off the talismanic frontman in the closing minutes, with Bayern having a huge Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid to come in midweek.

By the time he was replaced by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in the 86th minute, Lewandowski had taken six shots in total - three of which hit the target - and also created a trio of chances for his team-mates.

Bielefeld had been unbeaten at home in all competitions in 2020 but were no match for Bayern, who move up to second in the table. They sit a point behind RB Leipzig.

Robert Lewandowski maintained his magnificent goalscoring form as Bayern Munich eased to a 4-1 Bundesliga victory over Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday.

Lewandowski scored four times in Bayern's 4-3 win over Hertha Berlin in their last match before the international break and struck twice for Poland in a victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina in midweek.

The prolific striker took his goalscoring tally for the season to nine goals in seven matches with a first-half double at Bielefelder Alm after playing a big part in Thomas Muller's opener.

He then set up Muller for Bayern's fourth as the champions, who conceded to Ritsu Doan's low drive before losing Corentin Tolisso to a straight red card, made it four wins in a row in all competitions and climbed into second place.

Lewandowski played in Muller with a first-time pass in behind and the attacker converted just eight minutes in after his initial pass to Kingsley Coman - earlier denied a penalty - was cut out.

Tolisso and Muller wasted good opportunities to extend Bayern's lead before clinical striker Lewandowski did exactly that with a thumping strike from 18 yards.

The pair were at it again at the end of the first half as Muller squared to Lewandowski to score his second from a near identical position to the first, helped by a telling deflection.

Lewandowski was denied a third by the crossbar early in the second half but crossed for Muller to volley in from six yards out 100 seconds later.

Bielefeld, previously unbeaten in 10 home games in 2020, did manage to pull one back on the counter just before the hour mark through Doan's shot across Manuel Neuer.

Tolisso was then dismissed with 14 minutes to play for bringing down Fabian Klos as the last man, but Hansi Flick's men came closest to scoring the sixth goal of the match as substitute Javi Martinez nodded against the woodwork late on.

What does it mean? Bayern hot on Leipzig's heels

Bayern's 32-match unbeaten run was ended by Hoffenheim in their most recent away league outing but they have responded in style.

Flick's side are a lethal attacking force, managing 17 shots in total here as they made it 14 goals in four consecutive wins.

They are now a point behind leaders RB Leipzig, who beat Augsburg 2-0 earlier in the day.

Free-scoring Lewa unstoppable

Lewandowski has now scored 213 goals in 258 Bundesliga matches and has found the net against every Bundesliga side - including Bayern - with this double against Arminia.

He had six shots in 86 minutes on the field, half of those on target, and created a joint-high three chances for his team-mates - including key passes for Muller's two goals.

Ortega easily beaten

Stefan Ortega, formerly on the books of 1860 Munich, was beaten four times but could arguably have kept out two of those goals.

His positioning for Lewandowski's first goal was questionable and he got a touch to the striker's shot for the second, though he did make five other saves.

What's next?

Holders Bayern host Atletico Madrid in their opening Champions League group match on Wednesday, while Arminia travel to Wolfsburg in their next league outing in eight days' time.

Robert Lewandowski maintained his magnificent goalscoring form as Bayern Munich eased to a 4-1 Bundesliga victory over Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday.

Lewandowski scored four times in Bayern's 4-3 win over Hertha Berlin in their last match before the international break and struck twice for Poland in a victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina in midweek.

The prolific striker took his goalscoring tally for the season to nine goals in seven matches with a first-half double at Bielefelder Alm after playing a big part in Thomas Muller's opener.

He then set up Muller for Bayern's fourth as the champions, who conceded to Ritsu Doan's low drive before losing Corentin Tolisso to a straight red card, made it four wins in a row in all competitions and climbed into second place.

Lewandowski played in Muller with a first-time pass in behind and the attacker converted just eight minutes in after his initial pass to Kingsley Coman - earlier denied a penalty - was cut out.

Tolisso and Muller wasted good opportunities to extend Bayern's lead before clinical striker Lewandowski did exactly that with a thumping strike from 18 yards.

The pair were at it again at the end of the first half as Muller squared to Lewandowski to score his second from a near identical position to the first, helped by a telling deflection.

Lewandowski was denied a third by the crossbar early in the second half but crossed for Muller to volley in from six yards out 100 seconds later.

Bielefeld, previously unbeaten in 10 home games in 2020, did manage to pull one back on the counter just before the hour mark through Doan's shot across Manuel Neuer.

Tolisso was then dismissed with 14 minutes to play for bringing down Fabian Klos as the last man, but Hansi Flick's men came closest to scoring the sixth goal of the match as substitute Javi Martinez nodded against the woodwork late on.

Bayern Munich superstar Robert Lewandowski is by far the best striker in the world and should be rated 99 on FIFA 21, according to Arminia Bielefeld forward Fabian Klos.

Lewandowski had the most prolific season of his career in 2019-20, scoring 55 goals in 47 appearances in all competitions as Bayern claimed a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble.

The Poland international found the net more than any other player in the top five European leagues, with Cristiano Ronaldo (37) and Lionel Messi (31) trailing in his wake.

Lewandowski has scored five goals in three Bundesliga appearances this season – a tally only bettered by Andrej Kramaric – and goes into Saturday's meeting with newly promoted Bielefeld following a double for Poland against Bosnia-Herzegovina during the international break.

Klos, who topped the 2. Bundesliga scoring charts as Bielefeld earned promotion to the top flight last season, does not think it can be denied that Lewandowski is better than anyone in his position.

"Bayern have the strongest striker in the world, by far in my eyes," Klos told SPORT1.

"Robert Lewandowski definitely has no weaknesses. Robert Lewandowski has no weaknesses physically, physically, technically or in the end of the goal.

"I am amazed that he didn't get a 99 at FIFA.

"Unfortunately, there are relatively few archetypal strikers these days, but if I could build one, it would probably look like this.

"I don't want to descend into idolatry either, but for me there is no doubt that this guy is the best striker in the Bundesliga, in Europe and in the world.

"It will certainly be very fun for our defence to try to keep him occupied."

Lewandowski has an overall score of 91 on the FIFA 21 game, with Ronaldo (92) and Messi (93) the only players with a higher rating.

Thomas Muller praised Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and joked he had set a high standard, but the two-goal Bayern Munich debutant is happy to play back-up to Robert Lewandowski.

Handed his Bayern bow as the European champions’ international stars sat out the DFB-Pokal first-round tie with Duren, Choupo-Moting scored twice in a 3-0 win on Thursday and earned the penalty for Muller to net the other goal.

The striker, who played for Paris Saint-Germain against Bayern in last season's Champions League final, signed for the treble winners on transfer deadline day.

Muller has already been impressed by his impact on and off the pitch, telling SPORT1: "[Choupo-Moting] brings the wit, he also makes jokes off the pitch.

"He fits in well with our style of play because he is also technically good with the ball. If he maintains this strike rate, he'll fit."

Choupo-Moting served as support to Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Mauro Icardi and Edinson Cavani at PSG.

Bayern do not quite have the same wealth of striking options, but the 31-year-old still finds himself behind Lewandowski, Europe's leading scorer last season.

Choupo-Moting is happy enough with that role, though, explaining: "I have huge respect for Lewy, who was deservedly voted the best striker of last season.

"If I get my minutes after him, that's okay, and if we play together, then all the better. I'll try to play as much as possible."

Of his debut, Choupo-Moting added: "We did well and I'm happy that we won the game and that I was able to score my first goals for Bayern.

"I feel 100 per cent Bayern Munich. I hope that there will be a little more power over time - that's what I work on in training and I'm up for it."

Robert Lewandowski is one of the best strikers in the world and any team would struggle against a player of his quality, says Italy boss Roberto Mancini.

The Azzurri will go head-to-head against Lewandowski on Sunday when the two nations meet in Nations League Group A1.

Lewandowski scored 55 goals across all competitions in 2019-20 to fire Bayern Munich to a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble and many pundits feel he would have won the Ballon d'Or this year had the award not been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He has continued his exquisite form in the early stages of this campaign, scoring five goals in three league matches for champions Bayern.

Mancini talked up the talents of Lewandowski in a pre-match news conference but backed his side to keep him quiet in Gdansk.

"Lewandowski is one of the best centre-forwards in the world and he has been for several years. It's a pity we never got to see him playing in Serie A," Mancini said

"He's fundamental for Poland, although they also have other great players too. It's fair to say any team would struggle against the likes of Lewandowski.

"But Italy have always had some of the best defenders in the world and that remains true today. Of course, we can improve a great deal too."

Ciro Immobile was also one of European football's hottest properties last term and finished as Serie A's top goalscorer with 36 goals in 37 top-flight matches.

The Lazio striker has struggled to match that domestic form on the international scene and has scored just three times in the Mancini era, two of those in a 9-1 battering of minnows Armenia.

Mancini explained it is harder to get into a rhythm in international football when defending Immobile's record.

"It might also be because the two teams play in very different ways," Mancini added. 

"Ciro has always done well when playing with us. If we had 38 games in a row together, he'd score 25 goals, but it's tougher when you only get together every now and then."

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has expressed his delight after Iga Swiatek ended Poland's long wait for a singles grand slam champion.

Swiatek, 19, capped a stunning fortnight at Roland Garros with a 6-4 6-1 win over Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in the Paris final on Saturday.

The unseeded player did not drop a set over her seven rounds, other notable wins including an emphatic victory over tournament favourite Simona Halep in the fourth round and seeing off the 2019 finalist, Marketa Vondrousova, in her first match.

Just two years ago she had won the junior title at Wimbledon and prior to this tournament had never reached the last eight of a tennis major.

Her run to victory captured the attention of Lewandowski, another of Poland's sporting success stories.

"What an amazing success, what a great story! Good job Iga Swiatek," Lewandowski wrote on Twitter after the win over Kenin, having also sent a message of support earlier this week.

Swiatek had earlier referenced the traction her run at the event had been getting in her country.

"I want to thank all the fans and everyone watching in Poland; I know it's pretty crazy back home," she said in her on-court interview.

Swiatek was later asked in her news conference if she understood her life was about to change.

She added: "That's true. I mean, it's hard to comment on that right now because I need to come back home first, see what's going on in Poland.

"I know it's going to be crazy. I think I'm going to get used to that, it's not going to be a problem for me. I didn't have a problem with getting attention, with people surrounding me.

"I think it's going to be okay for me. I really appreciate all the support I got during the whole two weeks.

"Even though I wasn't on my phone and I wasn't answering every person, I know that the whole country was behind me and they all believed in me. I'm going to be happy and proud."

Poland captain Lewandowski, who was recently named UEFA Player of the Year, will be hoping to cap a fine sporting weekend for the nation when his team host Italy in the Nations League on Sunday.

Hansi Flick conceded Bayern Munich are "lacking a few per cent" after being bailed out by four-goal hero Robert Lewandowski in their dramatic 4-3 Bundesliga win over Hertha Berlin.

Bundesliga champions Bayern's 32-game unbeaten streak was ended in a shock 4-1 loss to Hoffenheim last week and they nearly dropped two more points on Sunday.

Lewandowski scored either side of half-time to give Bayern a commanding lead, only for Jhon Cordoba and Matheus Cunha to level up for Hertha in an action-packed contest.

Prolific striker Lewandowski completed his hat-trick with five minutes remaining but Jessic Ngankam equalised for the stubborn visitors.

Just when it looked as though Bayern were going to slip up for a second league game running, Lewandowski converted a penalty he won himself three minutes into injury time.

Bayern thrashed Schalke 8-0 in their opening match and have also overcome Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Super Cup and DFL-Supercup, but head coach Flick accepted there is room for improvement.

"We must take the overall situation into account. It isn't so easy for the players - not all of them are at 100 per cent," he told reporters. 

"We know we can work better in defence, act as a unit and put our opponents under pressure. We're just lacking a few per cent at the moment. 

"But I'm pleased with the team's mentality - we're at 100 per cent in that regard. We have the absolute desire to win. 

"Now it's about showing the beautiful football everybody loves after the international break. We can perform well despite the tiredness."

Lewandowski's four goals came from 13 shots – the most a player has attempted in a Bundesliga match since Edin Dzeko for Wolfsburg against Freiburg in December 2009.

In the week he was named UEFA's Men's Player of the Year for 2019-20, Flick heaped further praise on the Poland international for his latest match-winning display.

"He converted four chances. Robert is an absolute goal-getter," Flick said. "It's important to me that he also adds the other elements, setting up goals and working defensively. 

"He does so, which is why I'm very pleased with him. He has special qualities. But the way we played wasn't like Bayern, we know that."

Bayern are up to fourth in the embryonic table, a point behind early pacesetters RB Leipzig, and Thomas Muller acknowledged the importance of his side's late win over Hertha.

"Of course we're glad we've kept three crucial points," the Bayern forward said. "Many neutrals will definitely be annoyed at our late winner. 

"It was enormously important for us to stay on the ball after these intense last few days. 

"We can't be happy with our work at the back of course, which goes for the whole team. We must keep going when we're two goals up. 

"We want to do the things for which FC Bayern are admired. We did a few things well today but we must restore this aplomb when we're in the lead."

Robert Lewandowski scored four goals, including a 93rd-minute penalty, to rescue Bayern Munich a 4-3 victory over Hertha Berlin in a dramatic Bundesliga clash at the Allianz Arena.

The German and European champions' 32-game unbeaten streak was ended in a shock 4-1 loss at Hoffenheim last weekend and they nearly dropped two more points on Sunday.

Lewandowski had put Bayern two goals in front - the second assisted by full debutant Chris Richards - but Jhon Cordoba powered in a header with almost an hour played and Matheus Cunha scored an impressive equaliser soon after.

The prolific striker's hat-trick goal was then instantly cancelled out by Jessic Ngankam in an incredible second half, but Lewandowski won a penalty in stoppage time that he stepped up to convert as Bayern got back to winning ways in the league.

Robert Lewandowski was the logical choice to win UEFA's Men's Player of the Year award - to give it to anyone else would have been a brave call.

How could a player who scored 55 goals in the 2019-20 season, including 15 in the Champions League, possibly be denied.

Fellow nominees Manuel Neuer and Kevin De Bruyne were also terrific last term, but this was a one-horse race.

UEFA duly got it right, rewarding Bayern Munich's Polish goal machine with a shiny trophy to sit alongside the medals he is stacking up at home.

WAS IT THE PERFECT SEASON?

Lionel Messi scored 58 goals from 57 games in Barcelona's treble-winning 2014-15 season, but Lewandowski's feat can sit comfortably in that company

The Bayern frontman netted his staggering haul from just 47 appearances, and it feels cruel that he cannot land a Ballon d'Or this year, with that award scrapped because of the pandemic.

Lewandowski would surely have walked off with that prized golden ball, after an exemplary year of leading the Bayern forward line that invited comparisons with the great Gerd Muller.

He is a shoo-in, surely, for the Best Men's Player prize at the FIFA awards, should that event go ahead.

In the Bundesliga, Lewandowski plundered 34 goals in 31 games, netting on average once every 81.24 minutes.

He was even deadlier in the Champions League, though.

TAKING EUROPE BY STORM

Bayern scored 43 goals in a Champions League campaign that culminated in their 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain in Lisbon, and Lewandowski netted a heroic 15 of those.

He scored in every game he played until the final of the competition, when Kingsley Coman was the unlikely match-winner.

The former Borussia Dortmund striker netted a goal every 59.13 minutes, Opta statistics show, and he had five assists into the bargain.

Only PSG's Angel Di Maria, with six, had more assists over the Champions League campaign.

There were abundant highlights in Lewandowski's season, but one was certainly his performance against Red Star Belgrade on November 26, when he scored four goals in a little over 14 second-half minutes as Bayern won 6-0 in the Serbian capital.

GOALS GALORE, GONGS GALORE

Apart from the Ballon d'Or being off the table, Lewandowski is getting his dues.

Already recognised as Germany's player of the year, the UEFA recognition lavishes a fresh accolade on a player who dazzled throughout an unforgettable 2019-20 campaign.

Recalling the moment of Bayern's Champions League triumph, Lewandowski said on Thursday: "That meant a lot."

He harked back to being in the Borussia Dortmund side seven years ago that lost to Bayern in the Champions League final, saying: "I was very disappointed and sad. I said to myself that I can never give up.

"This year we did it. It is something you dream of from being a young boy. Now I know this feeling and I'm very proud of all the team because what we did in the season was very special."

Bayern Munich added a major double to their famous treble as striker Robert Lewandowski and head coach Hansi Flick were honoured with UEFA's top individual awards on Thursday. 

Lewandowski scored 55 goals last season, including 15 in the Champions League, and he collected the UEFA Men's Player of the Year prize, while Flick was presented with the Men's Coach of the Year honour. 

Last season saw Bayern sweep the board with their Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League triumphs to seal a stunning treble. 

Former Germany assistant boss Flick took charge at Bayern in November after the team experienced a slow start to the season under predecessor Niko Kovac, and their results began to dramatically improve. 

The German giants have already scooped UEFA Super Cup and DFL-Supercup victories in the early weeks of the new season, meaning they hold five significant trophies. 

Lewandowski, who fended off competition from fellow nominees Manuel Neuer and Kevin De Bruyne, said of his award: "I have to say it's an amazing feeling. 

"If you work so hard and you get this trophy it's something special."

The 32-year-old Poland international added: "I have to say thank you to my team-mates, my coaches and all the staff because they work very hard to prepare me, and also to my family because they support me a lot and that, for me, is very important. 

"When I was young, I always dreamed of playing in the big stadiums, at the big clubs in the world, and now I'm on this stage I have to say the dream has come true. I'm very proud, I'm very grateful and I'm very happy." 

The individual accolades are a welcome complement to the team successes, and they are flooding in at Bayern. 

Lewandowski won Germany's Footballer of the Year award in August after his remarkable campaign, with Flick named as the top coach in the country. 

Now they have fresh recognition from European football's governing body, the organisers of the Champions League, and it was a Bayern love-in at the UEFA ceremony. 

Neuer received the Goalkeeper of the Year trophy, the versatile Joshua Kimmich picked up the Defender of the Year honour and Lewandowski went home with the Striker of the Year prize alongside his main award. 

It was not quite a clean sweep by the Bavarians, however, with Manchester City's De Bruyne taking the Midfielder of the Year accolade. 

In the awards recognising achievement in the women's game, Lyon's Champions League-winning coach Jean-Luc Vasseur and former Wolfsburg forward Pernille Harder, who recently joined Chelsea, claimed the top honours. 

Xabi Alonso has the qualities required to succeed as a head coach in the modern game and could be a future possibility for Bayern Munich, says CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Spain World Cup winner Alonso spent three seasons at Allianz Arena between 2014 and 2017 before the cultured midfielder called time on his distinguished playing career.

Alonso won three Bundesliga titles, a DFB-Pokal and the DFL-Supercup during his time at Bayern and is now in charge of the B team at Real Sociedad, the club with whom he rose through the youth ranks and started in the professional game.

Rummenigge remains in contact with Alonso and foresees a time when the Spaniard is back at Bayern, this time in the dugout.

"He will be a coach who may be of interest to FC Bayern at some point in the future. I can imagine that," Rummenigge told the BILD podcast 'Phrasenmaher'.

"We are still friends today, he reports regularly.

"Xabi Alonso has this empathy that you need. Especially with today's generation of players to spin such a common thread with them."

Rummenigge hopes such a scenario does not occur too soon, though, given the success enjoyed under Hansi Flick.

Former Germany assistant Flick led Bayern to a Bundesliga, Pokal and Champions League treble last term and Rummenigge is confident of a long association between club and coach.

"I hope he stays [a] long, long, long [time]. This is a coach who for the first time I trust will stay long," he added.

"Three to five years, that would be an extraordinary period."

Among the other topics discussed were who Rummenigge felt were the most important transfers of his tenure in the boardroom.

Unsurprisingly, Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and superstar striker Robert Lewandowski were highlighted as such transfers.

"Manuel Neuer and Robert Lewandowski were the most important transfers," he said.

Page 1 of 10
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.