Goals have been the stock in trade of the Bundesliga ever since its inception in 1963 with some of the most exciting exponents of the gloried art of goalscoring surfacing in the last decade.

bundesliga.com takes a look at the insatiable goalgetters who have earned the Torjägerkanone for being the German top-flight’s leading marksman in the last ten years.

2008/09 Grafite (Wolfsburg)

When the demanding Felix Magath describes you as “a dream”, you must be doing something right, and Grafite did a LOT right in Wolfsburg‘s historic title-winning season.

The club’s fairytale triumph mirrored Grafite’s own rise from selling rubbish bags to earn money as a youngster in his native Brazil to being named the Bundesliga’s Player of the Year after a bumper campaign that brought him 28 goals.

A devastating partnership with Edin Dzeko produced a league record 54 goals with the duo ably and brilliantly assisted by Zvejzdan Misimovic. Remember that backheel goal in the 5-1 win over Bayern? You can bet Bayern fans do!

Grafite’s goals had a big say in Wolfsburg’s dethroning of Bayern Munich in 2009. © imago

2009/10 Edin Dzeko (Wolfsburg)

“Dzeko reminds me of myself when I was younger: he has that desire to do whatever it takes to win the ball. I like that.” Grafite clearly enjoyed playing alongside his partner, who also shared his Wolfsburg teammates’s unerring ability to find the back of the net.

But while the Brazilian’s career had reached a crescendo in 2008/09, Dzeko was in the opening act of his after being fished out of the Czech league by Magath just two years earlier.

Though Grafite and the team struggled to reproduce their form of the previous campaign in both European competition and domestically, Dzeko did not, heading the goalscoring charts as Wolfsburg became the first Bundesliga club to boast back-to-back top scorers with two different players.

Watch: Edin Dzeko – Made in the Bundesliga

2010/11 Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich)

Say what you like about Mario Gomez — and you probably will — but the man knows where the goal is.

He had already made that clear at VfB Stuttgart — he was third to the Wolfsburg duo in 2008/09 — before he enjoyed the most goal-stuffed season of his professional career.

There were no fewer than five hat-tricks, including one in the 8-1 pummelling of St Pauli on Matchday 33, as he put Miroslav Klose in the shade and helped Bayern make light of the injury-enforced absence of Ivica Olic.

Mario Gomez grabbed 28 of his 163 Bundesliga goals to date during the 2010/11 campaign. © imago

“It was one of the biggest victories of my career,” Gomez admitted after his outrageous strike rate had swayed coach Louis van Gaal’s opinion of him.

“I had completely changed van Gaal’s mind about me as a player. More importantly, when things weren’t going easy for me, I learned how to work through it.”

In the end, he scored six goals more than the next-best, Freiburg‘s Papiss Demba Cisse, and 11 more than Cologne‘s Milivoje Novakovic in third. Just think how much more impressive those games would have been had he found the net in any of his first six league matches of the campaign…

2011/12 Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke)

Gomez plundered 26 the following season, but fell prey to an even more predatory Hunter.

Playing alongside Raul, Schalke‘s Dutch forward claimed a hat-trick against Cologne in his second game of the campaign to set the ball rolling, mostly into the net.

Fifteen goals in the first half of the season boded well, and though the winter break appeared to have interfered with his aim, a furious flurry of 11 goals in his closing 10 Rückrunde outings saw the former Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan forward set a new record goals tally for a foreign-born player.

Watch: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s top 5 Bundesliga goals

2012/13 Stefan Kießling (Bayer Leverkusen)

“He trains fantastically, is always fully committed and is absolutely a role model in the dressing room,” Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich said of the long-serving forward, who ended his career and 12-year association with the club on the final day of last season.

Let’s not forget: he was also a fine goalscorer.Second to Dzeko with 21 goals in 2009/10, Kießling looked an unlikely Torjägerkanone winner with just two strikes in his first six matches of the 2012/13 campaign, and he trailed Borussia Dortmund‘s Robert Lewandowski by three goals with just six matches left.

But a burst of seven goals in those remaining games saw the Germany international edge ahead and become only the second Leverkusen player after the legendary Ulf Kirsten to top the Bundesliga’s scoring charts.

With 25 goals, Stefan Kießling pipped Robert Lewandowski (24) to the top scorer’s prize in 2012/13. © imago

2013/14 Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund)

A Polish league top scorer with Lech Poznan before his arrival in Germany, Lewandowski’s finely tuned nose for the net was given free rein after Lucas Barrios left the club in 2012.

After falling just a goal shy of Kießling in his first season as BVB’s premier striker, Lewandowski was not about to sniff at the opportunity.Bizarrely, he only managed to score in successive league games once during the campaign, but regularly punctuated his 33 appearances with a goal, including an 18-minute hat-trick in the Matchday 11 demolition of Stuttgart, to prove then-BVB boss Jürgen Klopp had done his homework well.

“From what I know, Robert Lewandowski was observed more than 30 times,” Dortmund scout Artur Platek told Polish news outlet Przeglad Sportowy. “That included secret visits by Jürgen Klopp at the stadium in Poznan, in cap and with a hood pulled over his head.”

Robert Lewandowski capped his final season in a Borussia Dortmund shirt in fine style. © imago

2014/15 Alex Meier (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Born in northern Germany, Meier had flirtations with Hamburg and St Pauli, but became synonymous with Frankfurt in a 14-year love affair that ended with the 2017/18 season finale.

Just three years earlier, at the age of 32, Meier had become the most unlikely top scorer of the Bundesliga decade. A gifted forward but more of a chance creator than taker whose silken touch and vision belied his imposing 6’4″ (1.96m) frame, Meier’s triumph was based on consistency.

On three occasions he scored in three successive league matches to finish two goals clear of Bayern duo Lewandowski and Arjen Robben, a gap that surely would have been more handsome had injury not cut short his season with seven games remaining.

*Translation: We say goodbye to a legend, the Football God

2015/16 Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

“He improved my finishing,” Lewandowski said of former BVB boss Klopp, who would play one-on-one games against his frontline forward. “When I came to Dortmund, it wasn’t so good. He told me to improve. He showed me what I had to do.”

Dortmund fans probably regretted Klopp’s TLC of their former hero as Lewandowski put that practice into devastating use in the colours of Bayern.

His mind-boggling five-goal, nine-minute blitz against Wolfsburg on Matchday 5 helped him to a comic-book tally of 12 goals in his first seven league appearances, but incredibly that still left him three goals behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the mid-point of the season.

But while his former Dortmund teammate’s shooting boots cooled in the Rückrunde, Lewandowski’s remained just as hot. He scored five braces to become the first man since Dieter Müller in 1976/77 to reach the 30-goal mark and surpass Huntelaar’s record for a non-German scorer.

Robert Lewandowski won four Guinness World Records for his five-goal salvo against Wolfsburg. © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

2016/17 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund)

“He didn’t have that when he arrived to us, and it came through hard work. He asked for training sessions to help himself with that.” That is what Aubameyang’s former coach at Saint-Etienne, Christophe Galtier, told bundesliga.com when asked how the pacy forward’s killer instinct in front of goal had developed.

Given his abundant returns in front of goal, it is hard to believe the Gabon international was not a natural born goalscorer, and that was even more difficult to accept as he put his harmoniously tuned ability to record effect in 2016/17.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s somersault celebration was a common sight in 2016/17. © imago

A four-goal haul in the Matchday 10 win over Hamburg was the individual highlight while a run of eight goals in just six games in the Rückrunde kept him in touch with Lewandowski as the pair duelled thrillingly for the Torjägerkanone.

Fittingly for a man blessed with searing pace, Aubameyang pipped his arch-rival on the line, with two goals on the final day taking him level and then beyond the Bayern marksman to set a new Bundesliga record for a foreign-born player.

2017/18 Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

The pair would surely have taken their race down to the wire again but for Aubameyang’s January move to Arsenal that left the way open for Lewandowski to claim the crown for a third time, a total bettered only by Bayern icon Gerd Müller.

After a plentiful Hinrunde that brought 15 goals, Lewandowski’s form dipped only to rise sharply with hat-tricks in back-to-back home games, including the 6-0 dismissal of former club Dortmund on Matchday 28. Had his scoring touch not deserted him in the season finale against Stuttgart, he would have joined Müller as the only man to have scored 30 goals or more in three successive Bundesliga seasons.

Watch: All 29 of Lewandowski’s 2017/18 Bundesliga goals

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