Robert Lewandowski: the man, the myth, the legend. The best striker on the planet. Record-holder of numerous Bundesliga and European football records. We could string a list of superlatives on and on, but that would take all day. In short, he’s arguably the most vital cog in the Bayern machine. With him up front, Bayern’s attack gains another dimension, or rather, various dimensions. Over the years, the Polish ace has perfected the tricks in his bag, and doesn’t seem like he’s stopping any time soon.
The player suffered an unfortunate knock to the knee during the UCL clash against Chelsea, and was ruled out for 4 weeks, but that hasn’t mattered much anyways courtesy of an abrupt end to football in Europe as a whole — in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With footballing action definitively ruled out for at least the next two weeks, Lewandowski sat down with DiarioSport in what was an insightful interview, covering various facets of his footballing life. Below are some interesting bits that reveal fascinating aspects of the life of this extraordinary man.
When asked whether he’d always scored goals, even during his childhood, Lewandowski replied:
Yes. For me it was very natural. I love to score and do it often. As a child I also played in midfield, on both sides, but my focus was to help the team score. Neither the desire to score nor the feeling after doing it has changed.
He further added that he “talked to the ball” when he was younger, treated it as if it were his friend. Obviously, this relationship is what enables him to find the back of the net so often: the ball obliges to his wishes.
Lewandowski is undoubtedly the world’s best striker right now, and when asked whether he ever felt convinced he’d be the best:
I knew I had to do it step by step. My dream was to play in the big stadiums with 80,000, 90,000 spectators. That was my dream. When I was young, in my country, Poland, we didn’t have any top players, so I looked at the best players in the world and thought, ‘OK, I’m from Poland, from Warsaw, but why can’t Polish players come to be the best?
The striker has dealt with his share of rejections in the past. At one stage, he was deemed “too small” by his then club, Legia Warsaw. On this subject, Lewandowski expanded:
That was one of the worst situations in my life. I was injured for a few months and when I returned I was obviously not in shape. I needed time, but my contract ended at the end of that season. No one told me what was happening, if they renewed me or not, so I went to see the secretary of the club and he simply told me that I had been released, that I could leave. It was a very difficult situation for me. I was 17 years old. My mother was waiting for me in the parking lot and she knew right away that something was wrong. I wondered, had my soccer career ended? But I decided to step back, go to another minor team and give myself a second chance. It went right.
Perhaps this is the level of dedication that footballers require to be so successful. What we learn from his experience is that you may not always have it easy, but how you face your obstacles will be what defines you, and define him it did. The world’s best no.9.
On what it takes to be the “perfect center forward,” Lewandowski had this to say:
The perfect nine should be able to score with his left, his right, with his head, with everything. You need everything and you have to be prepared for any situation.
This is how one would describe Lewandowski, right?
On taking quick decisions when off the ball:
I don’t like waiting too long for the ball to hit me. But you have to be focused on when it finally hits you. That is crucial. You have to be prepared, in constant tension although sometimes you prefer to pretend to be walking on the grass.
We all know the stone-cold striker is always hungry for more goals. About his relentless in front of goal;
I spend the game asking for or wanting the ball. If I have scored a goal, I want another. If I have three, I must get the fourth. Sometimes colleagues say to me, “Don’t you realize we have another game in two or three days?” But for me, if you’re having a good time, if you love sports, if you love scoring goals, it’s never enough.
And thank god for that. Lewandowski has 25(!) goals and 3 assists in just 23 Bundesliga appearances and a whopping 11 goals and 2 assists in just 6(!!!!!) Champions League appearances this season. Talk about being addicted to scoring; this guy’s on an overdose and he just can’t have enough.
Real Madrid’s interest in Lewandowski is nothing new to Bayern fans, and when asked about whether Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos approached him three years ago after a game to convince him to join Real, he confirmed the interest:
Yes. You can go to the Spanish League or to any other country, another great club, but for me it is not the most important thing. Where I am I have been able to reach my maximum level and I still want to continue doing well.
And finally, about his new contract and playing for Bayern:
I am in one of the best clubs in the world, I know I can be happy here. What we have is of a very high level, from the squad to the sports city. Everything is easier playing in a club like this.
We are indeed blessed as Bayern fans to have Lewandowski play for us. He’s such a great weapon to have at Bayern’s disposal, and defenses all across Europe will continue to tremble at his sight once regular football resumes.