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Robert Lewandowski reflects on Poland’s disappointing World Cup and criticism from German press

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It’s not been an easy year for Lewandowski, who still collected kicker’s Torjägerkanone with flying colors for Bayern Munich

Bayern Muenchen v Eintracht Frankfurt - DFB Cup Final
BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 19: Robert Lewandowski of Muenchen looks dejected after the DFB Cup final between Bayern Muenchen and Eintracht Frankfurt at Olympiastadion on May 19, 2018 in Berlin, Germany.
Bayern Muenchen v Eintracht Frankfurt - DFB Cup Final BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 19: Robert Lewandowski of Muenchen looks dejected after the DFB Cup final between Bayern Muenchen and Eintracht Frankfurt at Olympiastadion on May 19, 2018 in Berlin, Germany.
(Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

It’s safe to say that Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski has been under the proverbial microscope for quite some time now, and his relatively disappointing World Cup campaign with Poland has put him increasingly under the limelight. For the better part of the past 10 months, Lewandowski has been heavily linked with a potential move to Real Madrid, but recent developments suggest that Bayern’s front office are in no way ready to let the striker go, for any fee. In the latest twist of the tale, Lewandowski has reportedly requested a meeting with Bayern’s front office and coaching staff to discuss whether or not the club fully supports him. Needless to say, the past couple of months have been quite difficult for the striker and his critics have seemingly multiplied at a rapid rate.

Regardless of all of the rumors floating about, it’s been a tough summer for the striker, who was disappointed not to have made it out of the group stage of the World Cup with Poland. In a lengthy interview with Polish sports publication, Przegląd Sportowy, Lewandowski spoke in detail about his disappointment:

I had many sleepless nights after the World Cup. I thought about what went wrong. I believe that it will bring good learning success over time

As the captain, he admitted, he had to take a lot of the criticism he received on the chin, having failed to score in any of Poland’s three matches at the tournament. He’s used to the harsh critics, but it still doesn’t make it any less difficult to deal with:

Maybe I’m not a man who shows it. But I have my feelings. It hurts a lot. I have not digested it yet. I had big ambitions. The reality turned out to be completely different than my dreams. My heart ached. I feel responsible. I do not know, maybe I made some mistakes in this role (as captain)? If so, then it was completely unintentional. I try to keep in touch with everyone. I took young players under my wing. Jan Bednarek, Dawid Kownacki, Piotr Zieliński and Karol Linetty sat with me at the table in the canteen. I do not run into any close circles, although it is known that with a group of 23 footballers you do not have non-stop everyday contact with everyone.

Poland v Senegal: Group H - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JUNE 19: Robert Lewandowski of Poland reacts during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group H match between Poland and Senegal at Spartak Stadium on June 19, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.
Lewandowski’s always under the limelight for Poland and Bayern
(Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

In the latter part of the interview, Lewandowski was asked about his links to Real Madrid, and potential unrest between him and Bayern’s front office. All of the rumors regarding a potential move to Real Madrid really amplified when he switched agents to Pini Zahavi. Asked whether or not the transfer rumors effected him heading to the World Cup or not, Lewandowski said that it didn’t phase him, and that it’s something he’s grown to get used to during his career:

I don’t think about it now because such situations happened during all of my transfers. Whether from [Lech] Poznań to Borussia Dortmund, or from BVB to Bayern Munich. I’ve had time to learn to deal with such situations.

After Zahavi went on record in SportBild of saying that Lewandowski needed “a change and a new challenge in his career,” it was speculated that he’d had a complete falling out with Bayern’s front office, but those suggestions proved to be a bit exaggerated. When asked about the interview Zahavi gave SportBild, Lewandowski felt it didn’t jeopardize his standing at Bayern at all:

I do not regret. I never thought that it would spoil my relationship with Bayern in any way. Nobody blamed me for that. I talked to Hoenes and Rummenigge, they read it and said they did not have a problem with it.

Bayern have already begun life under new manager Niko Kovac, but the World Cup participants still have a few weeks before they have to report to Säbener Straße for pre-season training. Back in the beginning of the month (July), Kovac revealed (via Az) that he’s anticipating on keeping a hold of Lewandowski and even spoke with him over the phone:

We presume that Lewandowski will play for Bayern Munich next season as well. I told him how important he is for us. I gave him my appreciation. Our conversation wasn’t long, but it was to the point. I spoke with Lewa on the phone and gave him my standpoint. I’m looking forward to working with him.

MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 12: Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Muenchen celebrates with the award for top goal scorer in the Bundesliga during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and VfB Stuttgart at Allianz Arena on May 12, 2018 in Munich, Germany.
Will we see him score 20+ in a Bayern shirt again?
(Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)