Robert Lewandowski for the 2017 Ballon d’Or

The final of the DFB Pokal last weekend brought Pep Guardiola’s tenure at the helm of Bayern Munich to an end. During the course of his three years in Bavaria, the Catalan delivered seven trophies to the German club, including a league title in each of the three seasons as well as two domestic cups.

Guardiola is regarded as an instrumental figure in helping Barcelona become the juggernaut that they have become. His tactics and intelligent use of the available players helped them reach their potential, and the trophies just followed.

At the time when Guardiola made his managerial move to Bayern Munich, it was reported that then Borussia Dortmund forward Robert Lewandowski was one of his prime targets to take to Bavaria. However, the Black and Yellows held on to their guns and refused to let go off their influential centre-forward in the summer of 2013. But they could only hold on to the Poland international for one more season as his contract was to run down the following summer, meaning that he could effectively walk out of the club and choose to play for whoever offered him a contract.

And so, Guardiola had his wish fulfilled the following summer as Lewandowski fulfilled his dream of playing for Bayern Munich. Now, two years down the line it would be no exaggeration to say that Guardiola has made Lewandowski an even more fearsome striker than he was at the Signal Iduna Park.

The Pole ended the current league season with an impressive haul of 30 goals – more than he had ever scored in his five previous seasons in the German top flight.

He was absolutely lethal in front of the goal as Bayern Munich won their third successive league title and ended the season with 80 goals in the goals for column, 30 of them Lewandowski’s. He also had three goals in the German Cup; and converted a crucial spot kick in the final penalty shootout against Borussia Dortmund to help his club secure a domestic double.

The one blemish that Guardiola would leave Germany is the fact that he couldn’t win the Champions League during his three years with Bayern Munich. The Bavarians lost in the semi-finals on all three occasions and all of them to Spanish opposition – a 5-0 hammering at the hands of Real Madrid in the 2013/14 season was followed by a 5-3 defeat against Barcelona the following season, and Atletico Madrid progressed to the final at their expense this campaign on away goals following a 2-2 aggregate draw over the two legs.

However, Lewandowski did his best to help his side secure the coveted trophy, contributing nine goals and one assist from 12 European appearances this season. But it didn’t prove sufficient in the end.

Nevertheless, no one can argue against the fact that Lewandowski has enjoyed one of the best seasons of any striker in the world this campaign. 42 goals and seven assists from 51 games across all competitions tell a story of their own.

He will also be the biggest hope for the Poles when he leads Poland’s attack at the European Championship in France later this summer, and if he can help them to a decent run, Lewandowski may well clinch the Ballon d’Or come January 2017.