Is Robert Lewandowski going to leave next summer? Will Bayern Munich buy Erling Haaland? These are two of the most popular questions that have kept the rumour mill well-oiled during the last couple of transfer windows. While speculations surrounding the future of these modern-day stars continue to rage on, Bayern ambassador Claudio Pizarro attempts to provide some answers. Moreover, the Peruvian also shed some light on why the current German national team is yet to shine as bright as its predecessors.
Multiple reports suggested that Bayern’s goal machine Lewandowski wanted to leave Germany to “move on to a new challenge”. The Polish striker, who joined the Bavarians from arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund in 2014, has netted 203 goals in 223 games and has shattered numerous Bundesliga records along the way. Pizarro, who plied his trade for the club in two spells (2001-2007 and 2012-2015), stated that he has been hearing this particular rumour for a few years now but also believes that star goal poacher in Haaland would be a like-for-like replacement should Lewandowski leave.
“For me, it would be perfect if Erling Haaland goes to Bayern. But if you think about Robert leaving Bayern, I have been hearing that for the last 5-6 years. In the end, Bayern always keeps Robert at Bayern Munich. If it does happen and he leaves the club, there is a good possibility that Bayern would have one of the best chances of getting Haaland. He would be going to a team where he can win some titles in his career,” remarked Pizarro while answering a question posed by the Hindustan Times during a select-media interaction arranged by Sony Sports.
-German national team is going through a transitional phase-
The 2022 FIFA World Cup is a little over a year away and the German national side would look to end its title drought on the flat, low-lying deserts of Qatar. Germany, since winning the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, hasn’t been able to deliver as well as they would have liked to. The side reached the semifinals of the 2016 European Championship, crashed out of the 2018 World Cup in the group stage, and most recently, saw the exit door in the Round of 16 at Euro 2020.
Moreover, they now have a new coach in Hansi Flick, who replaced Joachim Löw at the helm after his 15-year-long stint. When asked why ‘Die Mannschaft’ has not been able to live up to the expectations, former Peruvian striker Pizarro stated that the team is currently going through a transition phase on all ends and will click in due time.
“The German team is going through a transition at the moment, not just with the new coach (Hansi) but also with the change of generations. Almost all the players from the team that last won the World Cup in 2014 are not there anymore. You have a new generation (of players) coming in.
“I think they need some time to get to know each other really well and adapt to the new situation and to perform. That’s all they need to show their quality. Some of the German players are very good and we have no doubts about it. They need time to be together, to work together, to train together and after that, we will see them at the top again,” explained Pizarro, who scored 87 goals for the Munich-based outfit in 224 games.
-Really sad, they belong to the Bundesliga-
Werder Bremen, Hamburg, and Schalke are three German clubs that have been synonymous with top-flight football in Germany. However, these teams were relegated to the second division last season and 42-year-old Pizarro was left in utter disbelief and hoped that they correct the things that went wrong last year and work their way back to the first division.
“Firstly, it is really sad to see teams like Werder Bremen, Hamburg, and Schalke are playing the second league. They are teams that belong to the Bundesliga. Every time something bad happens, or things don’t work according to your expectations, of course, there are bad decisions and bad management involved. When things like this happen, there is always something that was wrong the year before. So, you have to change those things to make it work again. My hope is that they come back to the Bundesliga,” Pizarro concluded.
Pizarro eventually retired from the sport in 2020. During his 24-year-long career, he scored 236 club goals in 596 matches and netted 20 international goals in 85 matches.
Watch Bundesliga LIVE on Sony Ten 2 (English) channels on 18th September 2021, 12am IST onwards.