Robert Lewandowski commits future to Bayern Munich

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Robert Lewandowski has signed a two-year contract extension to keep him at Bayern Munich until 2023.

The striker has scored 197 goals for the club since joining from Borussia Dortmund in 2014. He is their third all-time record scorer, behind only Gerd Muller and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

The Poland international told the club website: “FC Bayern has become my sporting home. Besides, my family and I are happily settled in Munich.

“I’m convinced we’ll achieve a lot in the next few years. FC Bayern are one of the three biggest clubs in the world, and we have an outstanding team. I’m proud to be part of this club.”

The 31-year-old has won the Bundesliga title in each of his five seasons at Bayern, but has yet to taste Champions League success.

Chief executive Rummenigge said: “For me, Robert is the world’s best centre-forward and he’s been a mainstay of our team for years. So we’re extremely pleased he’ll continue to play for FC Bayern for a long time.

“We’re certain that together with Robert we’ll achieve our ambitious goals in the upcoming season and in the years to come.”

Copy provided by Press Association Sport

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Bayern Munich hat-trick hero Robert Lewandowski insists he can "always play better"

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Robert Lewandowski insists he can “always play better” despite scoring a hat-trick in Bayern Munich‘s first win of the season at Schalke.

The Poland captain scored from the penalty spot after 20 minutes, doubled his side’s lead at the start of the second half and completed his hat-trick in the 75th minute.

Speaking after the game, Lewandowski told Bayern’s website: “I can always play better. I try to help the team. Alone, you can win a game, but with the team you win titles.

“No matter who I play against, I always try to score goals. The Bundesliga is not an easy league, you also have to give it a physical boost, you always have to be ready.”

Bayern boss Niko Kovac said of the match: “We controlled the game for 90 minutes. We made no mistakes. (It was) a good game.”

Summer signings Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Perisic both made their debuts, and the Brazilian forward was impressed with the performance of his new club.

Coutinho said: “I am very happy about my debut. We won, so it was a nice evening.

“The first impressions are good. The game is very intense here. I have only been here three or four days and I’m sure I have to improve. I will work hard.”

Schalke coach David Wagner believed his side’s efforts were worthy of a goal but acknowledged Bayern deserved the win.

“In the end it was a deserved victory,” said Wagner. “Lewandowski has shown why he is one of the best. My team did well in the second half. We would certainly have deserved a goal.”

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Philippe Coutinho determined to live up to expectations at Bayern Munich

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Coutinho pictured at his Bayern unveiling with wife Aina.

Philippe Coutinho has spoken of his desire to live up to expectations after moving from Barcelona to Bayern Munich on loan for the 2019/20 season in a deal that includes an option to buy.

Barca say Bayern will pay €8.5 million and Coutinho’s wages, and that the option for the Bundesliga champions to then buy is fixed at €120m.

The 27-year-old Brazil playmaker passed his medical with Bayern on Sunday before putting pen to paper on his loan contract, and following the deal being confirmed, was then unveiled at a press conference on Monday afternoon.

He has been given the number 10 shirt previously worn by Arjen Robben, who retired during the summer.

Coutinho was quoted on his new club’s official website as saying at Monday’s press conference: “The jersey of FC Bayern and the number 10 is a big responsibility.

“It belonged to Robben, he was a great reference in football. I hope to be able to confirm expectations with good football on the pitch.”

Coutinho joined Barca from Liverpool in January 2018 in a £142m deal but has struggled to reproduce the kind of form he showed for the Reds.

He has scored 21 goals in 75 games in all competitions for Barcelona and produced 11 assists, winning La Liga twice and the Copa del Rey.

Regarding Coutinho’s number at Bayern, chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: “We planned to not award the 10 and seven this year as a gesture for Robben and (Franck) Ribery (who also left the club over the summer).

“We had a conversation with Robben and we wanted to give Philippe his number as a token of appreciation, and Hasan (Salihamidzic, Bayern’s sporting director) showed him the jersey at the first meeting.

“Arjen had no problems with that, he said Philippe was a worthy successor.”

Coutinho said the ’10’ role was his “favourite position” before stressing that “the coach (Nico Kovac) decides where to play”

He added: “I want to be ready to play as soon as possible and I cannot wait for tomorrow with the first meeting with my colleagues and the coaches.

“There are always big expectations at Bayern and of course the Champions League is a goal and I will do my best to win the Bundesliga, the cup (the DFB-Pokal) and the Champions League with my colleagues.

Coutinho will wear the No10 vacated by Arjen Robben.

Coutinho will wear the No10 vacated by Arjen Robben.

“I have a big challenge here and I hope to stay here for a long time and win many titles.

“I was presented with an ambitious project, I’m an ambitious guy, and I talked to Thiago, Rafinha and Lucio, and I’ve heard a lot of good things, they really helped me a lot.

“I’m hard-working and ambitious, and every time I wear the Bayern jersey, I’ll do the best I can on the field to reach our goals.”

Rummenigge added: “We are convinced that we have brought a very good player and I do not rule out that it can be a long-standing partnership.”

Salihamidzic said: “Philippe will strengthen our team and give our game that spectacular touch, which we all look forward to.”

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