Polish Footballer of the Year
Bayern Munich’s world-class striker Robert Lewandowski has added two more accolades to his impressive collection of titles and honors. This past Tuesday, it was revealed that he had again been voted Polish Footballer of the Year, winning Polish magazine Piłka Nożna’s vote for the seventh consecutive year.
Piłka Nożna ironically noted that Lewandowski had spoiled the competition somewhat by “eliminating the element of surprise.” The striker replied, “Well, I’m sorry... But seriously, I’m very happy. Really.”
Lewandowski argued that “nothing is obvious in football” and that every trophy he wins motivates him. According to the striker, he continues to set his sights on winning player of the year, while motivating his fellow Polish internationals in a spirit of friendly competition.
Some observers expressed criticism of Lewandowski when he declared on television that he felt he was in no way inferior to Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Asked to clarify his statement, Lewandowski reaffirmed his position:
That’s true. I do not feel inferior to these two great players. Why should I feel inferior? In what way? Because I am a Polish boy who had break down several walls in my life, open a few bricked-up doors? I don’t think so.
Asked about the danger of being taken advantage of when trying to help others, Lewandowski said his desire to help outweighs such fears:
Sometimes unpleasant situations happen, and we have learned a lot from [wife] Anna. We pay more attention than before. The world simply isn’t perfect, and you have to remember that. We know, however, that there are a lot of people in need, so even if we can’t help everyone, our willingness to help is greater than our fear of human dishonesty.
Tying Jupp Heynckes’s 45-year-old record
Another milestone in Lewandowski’s career was reached with his goal against Schalke on Saturday: Lewandowski has now scored in every one of Bayern’s 11 home games this year, tying a streak for home goals set by none other than current head coach Jupp Heynckes. It was Lewandowski's 19th goal this season.
Heynckes set the long-standing record in the 1972/73 season with Mönchengladbach. Lewandowski told Bundesliga.com,
It's a shame he wasn't there. I hope that he gets well soon and can be with us.
Heyckes could not attend Saturday's match or the following training session on account of the flu. Assistant coach Peter Hermann managed the team instead. Lewandwoski had joked on Thursday, “I hope the coach doesn't get jealous and I start!”
Far from jealous, Heynckes was surprised he had set such a record: “I just found out that I had had such a streak. I didn't know about it at all, to be completely honest.”
Lewandowski praised his current coach's experience and advice:
He was a good player and a good striker. I'm happy to work together with him. I often speak with Jupp about situations. He always tries to help me when he sees something that I can do better.
Heynckes is expected to be healthy for Bayern's next home game against Mönchengladbach on matchday 24, when Lewandowski will attempt to surpass Heynckes by scoring in his 12th consecutive home game.