Hansi Flick and Thomas Muller both lavished praise on Robert Lewandowski after the Bayern Munich striker equalled a longstanding Bundesliga record.
Lewandowski converted a first-half penalty to open the scoring in the champions’ 2-2 draw with Freiburg on Saturday, taking his tally for the season in the competition to 40 goals.
The Poland international now sits level with the great Gerd Muller for the most scored in a single Bundesliga campaign – and he still has one more game to go to move clear of the Bayern icon.
Flick feels the feat demonstrates just why Lewandowski is the best striker in the world right now, albeit his achievement would not have been possible without the efforts of the entire team.
“Robert had his most successful season last year – he won the treble with the team and the FIFA Men’s Player Award,” the Bayern boss – who will bring an end to his hugely successful reign next weekend – said.
“Now he has matched Gerd Muller’s historic record. But that is always due to the performance of the team, they have to provide the opportunities.
“In the last few years, you would never have believed that the record would fall. But a lot is possible in football.
“Right now, Robert is the best striker in the world. We’ll have to wait and see what comes next. The competition has to decide how long he will have his record.”
Lewandowski had two glorious opportunities to add to his tally in the second half at Freiburg, including scuffing an attempt from point-blank range straight to goalkeeper Mark Flekken.
Muller believes the uncharacterstic misses demonstrated how his team-mate is human after all, but made it clear the 32-year-old deserves his place among the club legend.
“It’s hard to classify because it’s kind of normal with Lewy,” Muller said.
“He didn’t just do it for one season, he has scored a huge number of goals in recent years. That’s crazy.
“He had two huge chances even today. He’s only human too, but one who is very, very good in front of goal.
“I can’t put it in this historical context because I’m there myself. Gerd Muller helped make this club with his goals to where we are now.
“The club grew up through such players and that Lewy has now placed himself on that level, you can only tip your hat to that. The team has granted him that and appreciates what he does.”
Lewandowski will hope to make it to 41 when Bayern host Augsburg in Munich in the final round of Bundesliga fixtures.