Robert Lewandowski 'fitter than ever' to restart Bundesliga
SEDAN: Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski says he's fitter than ever before Sunday Bundesliga shock in FC Union Berlin and on the advice of the World Cup record holder Miroslav Klose .
The 41-year-old Klose, who has the record for 16 goals scored in the World Cup finals, has joined the Bayern staff and will be alongside head coach Hansi Flick on the bench on Sunday.
Lewandowski, 31, is enjoying the best season of his career, scoring 25 goals in 23 league games and on the way to improving his 30 goals in 2015/16 and 2016/17.
The league's top-scorer has used the time since the Bundesliga halted in mid-March, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, to improve his fitness.
I feel better than ever because I have been able to work hard on my fitness for the past two months, said Lewandowski, who underwent groin surgery in December.
The Bundesliga will become the first top European league to return this weekend during the pandemic with games behind closed doors.
Bayern heads to Berlin with a four-point lead at the top of the table.
Mid-table Union have beaten previous league leaders Dortmund and Moenchengladbach this season, but the terraces in their compact East Berlin stadium will be empty this time.
Poland captain Lewandowski set records by scoring in each of the league's first 11 games this season.
He is now learning from ex-Germany striker Klose, who scored 53 goals in 150 games for Bayern during his career and last week signed a year-long contract to join the coaching staff.
He was a great player and I know he can help us with his experience and skills, added Lewandowski.
You can learn something new from any coach to become a better player.
Swiss Union coach Urs Fischer will not be in charge of hosting Sunday's game, as he broke the team's quarantine after a family duel.
However, Bayern head coach Hansi Flick expects a tough game in Berlin.
They are a team with a great mentality. We will face an aggressive team taking the direct route to the goal, Flick said of Union.
We need to get up and be counted. We cannot obtain a result only through the quality of our football .
We have to show our mindset and take on challenges.
Flick has plenty of selection options with only Philippe Coutinho, Corentin Tolisso and Niklas Suele still sidelined by long-term injury.
The Bayern boss admitted that he is not sure if the team has the aptitude for the match during the 90 minutes.
We had a friendly intern with three 20-minute games on Sunday. The intensity was very high, he said.
But we don't know if the whole team will be able to resist more than 90 minutes.
Due to German league hygiene guidelines, players on the Bayern bench will wear protective masks, while those on the field have been told to avoid handshakes or celebratory hugs.
Flick said his stars are told what to expect.
It won't change much except for wearing masks in the locker room, he said.
We discussed with the players what to expect.
More than 200 countries will be watching, we have a huge audience, so we want to deliver superior performance.