No football fan in their right mind should question Robert Lewandowski’s worth to his team. Polish striker proves his value every single time, and as a reliable record-breaking machine, he’s on top of the news feeds at the moment. Do we even have doubts about who is the best number 9 in the world?
Technically, we could point out that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo often play as forwards, but their roles on the pitch are so much different than that – and neither of them wears number 9! Either way, saying Lewandowski’s name alongside those two legends doesn’t bring him any shame. Squad numbers are important, especially those legacy ones, and Bayern’s player has been proving to be the best on his position for quite a long time. Even though times are changing, and football is changing, every manager and coach in this business would love to have a classic number nine that has such a substantial impact on the team’s performance as RL9.
Players’ rankings and people choosing best starting line-ups, or even experts’ opinions on TV can sometimes feel a little arbitrary. What does not lie is hard evidence and numbers. The power of numbers in sports, football definitely not excluded, cannot be overlooked. It is used in all sorts of statistics that can serve as a starting point for players’ evaluation and ultimately help work on performance improvement. Big data in sports is an important analytic tool that changes the way we look at individual disciplines.
It may be a slight understatement to say that the numbers are looking very good for Robert Lewandowski. Nobody can dismiss the fact that he is on top of his form right now. With 16 goals to his name, Bayern’s superstar has recently become the only player in Bundesliga history to score in each of the first 11 games of the season. He also scored in every Champions League game so far, acquiring six goals in four matches. It adds up to a total of 23 goals in all competitions, and it is still a pretty early stage in the season. At this rate, he could come close to an unbelievable record of German legend Gerd Müller, who scored 40 Bundesliga goals in one season.