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UCL: Lewandowski hat-trick would dethrone Ronaldo

PSG vs Bayern Champions League final: Lewandowski hat-trick would dethrone Cristiano Ronaldo

August 22, 2020 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
In a season in which he has been remarkably dignified, the big Pole could end affairs with another shiny milestone under his belt on Europe's biggest stage.

Ninety minutes separate one of two European heavyweights from the prospect of clinching a treble in an odd but fascinating football season that has survived the invasion of the COVID-19 pandemic. In one camp is Paris Saint-Germain, a newbie yet to taste success in the continent's elite cup competition in exactly 50 years of their existence. And in the other is Bayern Munich, an old customer chasing a renewed yet satisfying sensation of securing the Champions League trophy that has eluded them for the past seven years.

For us neutrals, the promise of a spectacle in the upcoming final remains unmatched, especially in a campaign that saw the Messi-Ronaldo duopoly vanquished earlier than expected. Flair, pace, and tenacity will certainly form the foundation of Sunday's exhibition with the propensity of a goal-fest also vividly in sight. While games of this nature are barely short of drama, one of the many mini-battles set to ensue in the clash will revolve around Bayern's elite marksman Robert Lewandowski and the defense of the Paris Saint-German.

As far as performances in all competitions go this season, the Pole ticks all the boxes required to earn the tag as the best of the best. Although his exploits will not be recognized by the organizers of the Ballon d'Or due to the award being canceled, the 32-year-old striker remains the front-runner in the race to win all major individual football accolades this year. On Sunday, he could make an even stronger case for his claim by replicating or bettering the goalscoring feat of one Cristiano Ronaldo. With 15 goals, Lewandowski is two goals away from equalling the Portuguese superstar's record of the most goals scored in a single Champions League campaign.

This means that the Bayern Munich striker would have to hit a hat-trick against Paris Saint-Germain in the final in order to outrightly own the record. In the history of the Champions League, that has never been done before. The closest any player has gotten to replicating the feat is a brace with Gareth Bale's heroics against Liverpool in the 2019 final in Cardiff being the latest. Against Juventus in 2017, Cristiano Ronaldo also added the feat to his long list of achievements in the European cup competition.

While scoring a Champions League hat-trick has eluded every player till date, it is not exactly out of reach considering how lethal Lewandowski has been for Bayern Munich this season. Nevertheless, as to whether he can achieve that against PSG who have conceded five goals - the least scored against any side in the campaign - remains to be seen.

Ahead of the last game of the 2019/2020 season, Lewandowski has scored 55 times while assisting 10 in 46 appearances. Among his 15 Champions League goals, four (approximately 27 percent) have come in the three games played so far in the knock-out phase. Relatively, three of the five goals (60 percent) scored against PSG in the competition have come in the knockout stage. Lewandowski's former club Borussia Dortmund were responsible for two of such in the Round of 16.

All in all, it will not be the craziest thing to happen should the Bayern Munich marksman successfully lay waste to the milestone in question owned by Cristiano Ronaldo. It is right to acknowledge that the stakes are higher than usual with the Champions League at its very climax. However, considering that Bayern Munich (18) have scored just seven goals less than PSG's overall tally in the competition, a Lewandowski masterclass cannot be overruled. And having turned 32 in the 24 hours before the final, who knows what he will decide to reward himself with as a personal birthday present.

 

Match details, result and original broadcast info

PSG 0 - 1 Bayern München

August 23, 2020 3:00pmEstádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) (Lisboa)

This match has ended. Below are the original Live broadcast details for this match.

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