Kane's record-breaking German season set to be in vain

Harry Kane of FC Bayern Muenchen at Saebener Strasse training ground on March 12, 2024 in Munich, Germany.

Harry Kane is homing in on a scoring record in Germany that was supposed to last for years, yet it probably still won't make any difference to Bayern Munich's season.

Kane has 30 goals in 25 German league games for Bayern, including a hat-trick last week, and Saturday's game against last-placed Darmstadt offers the England captain a chance to score plenty more.

Another 12 goals in Bayern's final nine games would take Kane past the record of 41 set by then-Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski in 2021, when the Pole broke a mark set by Gerd Muller that was nearly a half-century old.

But Kane's first season in Germany is going great in every respect -- except for the league table.

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Bayern, the 11-time defending champions, are 10 points adrift of still-unbeaten leader Bayer Leverkusen.

"Realistically, they're favourites to win the league. All we can do is do what we've done today, just win our games," Kane said of Leverkusen last week after scoring three in Bayern's 8-1 demolition of Mainz.

"They've had a fantastic season, credit to them for that, but this is always the business end, this is always the hardest part. All we can do is try to win our games and hopefully they drop points."

Getting the individual scoring record but no trophy would be the story of Kane's career.

He has three English Premier League top scorer awards and a World Cup golden boot but the closest he's come to a team title are Champions League and European Championship runner-up medals.

When Bayern lost the season-opening German Super Cup in Kane's first game for the club, it underlined his unlucky streak.

Bayern's best chance to end the season with a trophy before coach Thomas Tuchel leaves might be in the Champions League after booking a place in the quarter-finals with a win over Lazio last week.

Bayern's opponents on Saturday, Darmstadt, don't seem to have ever really recovered from an 8-0 thrashing by Bayern in October, when Kane scored a hat-trick.

Leverkusen need six wins from their last nine games to ensure their first-ever Bundesliga title.

Coach Xabi Alonso and his players still refuse to even talk about the title. Leverkusen do have a history of falling short at the final hurdle in decades past - hence the cruel nickname, "Neverkusen".

Leverkusen on Sunday meet a tricky, resourceful Freiburg who held Bayern to 2-2 on March 1.

Leverkusen's players will have extra mileage in their legs after a Europa League game against Qarabag on Thursday night (Friday AEDT), but so will Freiburg, who play West Ham in the same competition.

Leverkusen's historic success has overshadowed third-placed Stuttgart quietly nearing one of the shocks of the season if they can qualify for the Champions League, a season after narrowly surviving the threat of relegation.

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