…Bayern’s Lewandowski can topple Brazilian for big prize
There is no doubting the capacity of Neymar but the Brazilian is now faced with an ample opportunity to etch his name among the greatest of all time if he fires his Paris Saint Garmain side to their first Champions League victory against Bayern Munich on Sunday (tomorrow). This year’s tournament is symbolic in so many ways, apart from the enforced elongation due to the breakout of COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first time the Champions League will be played in a single city from the quarterfinal stage and Lisbon has been set alight with imperial talents.
Neymar has not been scoring but he has been quite decisive for the French champions as they breezed past Atalanta and Leipzig in the quarter and semifinals. That is not something you would normally associate with Neymar but he has been squandering big chances since the competition moved to Portugal. Neymar’s scintillating displays of skill and ambidexterity have already lit up the Estadio da Luz, but on Sunday he stands potentially 90 minutes away from completing his mission.
The 28-year-old scored in the 2015 final for Barcelona and could become only the third player to score in the final for two different teams, along with Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic. In 19 Champions League appearances for PSG, Neymar has been directly involved in 23 goals, scoring 14 times and assisting nine.
Both sides have a plethora of attacking options to choose from, none of whom more potent than Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski, who notched his 55th goal of the season against Lyon. The Brazil striker really should have found the back of the net in the win over Leipzig.
He struck the post twice in the first half, once when one-onone with the keeper and again with an outrageous free kick from the right touchline, before missing the target with a low shot from inside the area. However, the 28-year-old’s confidence won’t be knocked by those misses and he will be eager to get back to the scoring form he was in before the season was interrupted, when he scored in 16 of his 22 appearances. However, it is hard to argue against the fact that Lewandowski is the best number nine in the world at the moment and PSG should be rightly apprehensive of facing the Pole on Sunday.
The athletically-gifted 6ft-tall striker has been scoring a goal every 109 minutes in the last decade and scored an incredible 34 goals in 31 appearances in 2019/20 en route to his fifth Bundesliga title and Bayern’s eighth German league title in a row.
He joined Ronaldo as a player who scored 15 goals in the competition in one season and will be keen on getting even further tomorrow. Who will shine the best between flamboyant Neymar and enigmatic Lewandowski? We will find this out at Estadio da Luz on Sunday.