The Race for the Bundesliga Golden Boot – Lewandowski, Aubameyang or Modeste?

This season has unarguably been the most surprising and exciting in the Bundesliga’s 54-year history.

Although Bayern remain dominant in Germany and have clinched their fifth consecutive Bundesliga title. The rise of RB Leipzig, the intense battle for the Europa League and the fight for relegation still remains very alive.

Another battle also continues, with the race for this season’s Golden Boot remaining open with two games remaining. Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are level with 28 goals each. FC Koln striker Anthony Modeste also remains in contention but sits three goals behind the Bundesliga’s two best forwards.

Robert Lewandowski could become the first player to win the award in consecutive seasons since Bayer Leverkusen’s Ulf Kirsten in 1996 and 1997. He could also exceed last season’s tally of 30 goals with three goals in Bayern’s two remaining games against RB Leipzig (A) and SC Freiburg (H).

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will conclude his fourth Bundesliga season with his highest ever season’s goals tally. The Gabon international has proved to be an adequate replacement for Lewandowski when the Polish striker left for Bayern Munich in 2014.

The statistics between the striking rivals is incredibly narrow and the brewing rivalry is set to continue if they remain at their clubs next season. Who will win? It’s difficult to decide but they are likely to be hot property for top European clubs to drool over in the summer.

One who’s been underestimated in the race for the Golden Boot this season is Anthony Modeste. The Frenchman has scored 25 of FC Koln’s 47 Bundesliga goals this season, which means he’s scored 53% of his club’s league goals this campaign.

Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski established himself at Borussia Dortmund and won back-to-back league titles under Jurgen Klopp in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 season. He impressed BVB during his spell with Lech Poznan, where he scored 32 goals in 58 appearances in the Polish Ekstraklasa.

However, it was doubtful whether he’d be able to replicate his goal scoring form in the Bundesliga. He only bagged 8 goals in 33 Bundesliga appearances in his debut season at the Signal Iduna Park.

This was largely down to star striker Lucas Barrios enjoying more playing time ahead of Lewandowski. Fortunately for the now Bayern Munich talisman, Barrios endured a loss of form and Lewandowski was sure to make an impact when given the opportunity.

He ended the season with 22 goals in 34 appearances and clinched his second Bundesliga title. The next season proved even better in terms of his individual performance, as he netted 24 goals in 31 Bundesliga appearances. Although Dortmund lost out on the Bundesliga title to FCB, they reached the Champions League final in 2013 but were again defeated by Bayern.

He recorded his lowest goals tally since his debut season in his final season at the Signal Iduna Park. Dortmund were beginning to struggle under Klopp and the golden generation was beginning to fade, with the likes of Subotic and Blaszczykowski losing their regular starting places. Bayern finished 19 points above BVB in the 2013/14 season and Lewandowski swapped Dortmund for Munich in the summer of 2014.

He’s now clinched five Bundesliga titles (2 with Borussia Dortmund and 3 with Bayern Munich) and has scored 75 goals in 94 appearances. He’s still yet to win the Champions League but his decision to join Bayern has obviously brought him more success.

So, can he win the golden boot? I’d back him as the favourite due to his prolific record and the service provided to him. Bayern trounced RB Leipzig in the final game before the winter break in December and I can see another repeat, despite Leipzig boasting the home advantage.

SC Freiburg may prove difficult, as they are vying for a spot in next season’s Europa League campaign. However, it’s a home fixture and the Bavarians are normally strong on home turf, which means he has another opportunity to record his highest ever season tally.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Borussia Dortmund

The Klopp era was drawing to an end but the German masterminded another top class signing in the summer of 2014. The Signal Iduna Park had lost their beloved striker Robert Lewandowski to title rivals Bayern Munich on a free transfer.

His departure left them heartbroken and also clueless on who could prove to be an adequate replacement. In France, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was rising as one of the most promising strikers in European football.

This caught the eye of now Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who made a key signing to acquire yet another goal machine. Fast forward to four seasons later and his perception of the Gabon international was correct.

He’s notched up 82 goals in 126 Bundesliga appearances in his first four seasons at the Signal Iduna Park. He’s also scored more this season than Lewandowski managed in a single season during his time at the club.

Overall, Lewandowski has scored 149 goals in 225 appearances for Dortmund and Bayern combined. The statistics are incredibly tight in terms of the pair’s average goals per game record. Lewandowski has averaged 0.66 goals per game and Aubameyang sits behind on 0.65 goals in the Bundesliga.

The Spanish La Liga have their battle between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the Premier League have Alexis Sanchez and Eden Hazard but the rivalry between Aubameyang and Lewandowski is always an exciting prospect.

Aubameyang has an equally good chance to finish the 2016/17 as the Bundesliga’s top goal scorer for the first time. Dortmund travel to FC Augsburg tomorrow and host Werder Bremen on the final match day.

Anthony Modeste – FC Koln

Anthony Modeste is unlikely to compete with Robert Lewandowski and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the golden boot but he remains in contention. The former Hoffenheim striker has scored 25 goals in 32 Bundesliga appearances this season.

For me, that record is just as impressive as that of Lewandowski and Aubameyang. You may be screaming at your screen, how? Well, Bayern boast the creative magicians of Thiago, Robben, Vidal and Muller. Dortmund also have superiority in terms of attacking players, whereas FC Koln have limited options in the attack.

Modeste started his Bundesliga career with Hoffenheim at the beginning of the 2013/14 season. He scored 19 goals in 55 appearances for the club in the Bundesliga, until moving to FC Koln in 2015.

He’s went onto become their key player and has scored 53% of their Bundesliga goals this season. Modeste is unlikely to compete with the leading duo but his contributions shouldn’t be undermined and FC Koln may have a tough task on their hands keep hold of the Frenchman in the summer.

 

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