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Bundesliga: Lewandowski, Haaland anticipate last dance in German league

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Berlin, April 21 (IANS) Bayern Munich’s 10th consecutive national title only seems a side effect when the German league’s most flamboyant stars turn up for their assumedly last direct duel.

Six times have Bayern’s top scorer Robert Lewandowski and Dortmund’s goal machine Erling Haaland met in competitive games. The seventh time this Saturday could be the superstars’ last dance together in the Bundesliga, reports Xinhua.

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“They are international stars standing above all others in the league and are drawing the most international attention,” Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said ahead of this Saturday’s German Classico.

“It’s nothing to be happy about when we lose them,” Watzke added.

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Melancholy and excitement come along when the big two meet in the Munich arena as the German league is in danger of losing its icons after this season.

While the Norwegian is said to join Manchester City, the nine-time German champion Lewandowski is said to possibly leave for Paris or Barcelona. Before that final, talks with his Bavarian club are scheduled.

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No matter how things develop, fans can’t wait for kick-off expecting a thrilling football evening.

With Bayern winning all six encounters, Haaland scored five goals, while the Pole scored eight times.

Haaland within a few months attracted football’s biggest clubs on the international stage, whereas Lewandowski shaped the German league’s history by setting various goal records.

The six-time league top scorer struck 41 goals in the 2020-2021 season, surpassing the 40-goal record of German striker icon Gerd Muller set in the 1971-72 season.

While 32-year-old Thomas Muller and 36-year-old Manuel Neuer are said to have agreed on a one-year extension until 2024, Lewandowski’s agent Pini Zahavi is demanding a two-year extension next to a salary raise.

Muller and Neuer’s new contracts are said to contain the option of an additional year depending on their fitness levels. Whether the 34-year-old Lewandowski is following their example remains uncertain.

Rumours speak of the 2020 Champions League winner possibly heading for new shores. Bayern, reports say, intend to use the transfer fee of an assumed 40 million euros, to update and rejuvenate their squad.

Dortmund have similar plans as they intend to reinvest the reported 75 million euros out of Haaland’s exit clause.

“We just can’t compete with the big and rich clubs from the Premier League,” Dortmund boss Watzke said.

Bayern chairman Oliver Kahn said, “the entire package of the Haaland deal is beyond our imagination. We have to take financial responsibility for our club.”

Reports talk of 300 to 350 million euros in total investment covering the deal with the Citizens.

Bayern’s leaders have to decide if Lewandowski, despite his age, can be helpful when it comes to the club’s plans to set a re-start after a disappointing season with exits in the German Cup and the Champions League.

To only win the national title doesn’t seem enough.

Despite a bumpy season, Bayern coach Nagelsmann said he is looking forward to winning his first national championship.

To get the job done, three points are missing. A victory this Saturday might set a final point under this story. The Lewandowski issue might take some days longer.

–IANS

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