How did Robert Lewandowski go the best striker in the world?
Published on: 2021-12-02 12:44
12 MIN READ
Henry m. robert Lewandowski has enjoyed a stunning 2021 that saw him arrogate the Bundesliga’s uncomparable single-season marking disc and play a centric role in other Bayern Munich Bundesliga form of address win, securing his position as a fable and the world’s best striker.
He’s no alien to trophies. In fact, he usually sleeps with them. There were those tweets of him and the UEFA Champions League prize in bed together, piece he also cuddled up with the FIFA Best Men’s Player honour in aboriginal 2021 after existence named…well, you can guess.
But spell it’s get over unglamourous for fans, media, opponents and teammates to see Lewandowski scoop up honours degree as most exclusive out ice pick on holiday, the man himself will — it seems — never get used to it.
“Kids from Republic of poland are not purported to be the best in the world. It’s just not alleged to happen. So when I accepted the trophy, I couldn’t trust it,” Robert Lewandowski wrote in The Players’ Tribune after pick up the FIFA award.
“I know that the great unwashe call back it’s a cliché, but my life really began to flashy in look of my eyes. I could see my get-go stairs with the ball, my initial games on the muddied pitches, and all the populate who had helped me get to this point.”
The life ‘Lewy’ has had is something that Hollywood could conjure: disappointments, tragedy, and a well-chosen end that adds twinkly plot line after storyline, the stylish of which has a gilt lining.
Athletics was in his genes from even before he was born in Leszno, the pocket-size town west of Warsaw where Lewandowski grew up. Krzysztof, his dad, had been Fine-tune judo champion and played arcsecond sectionalisation football in Warsaw, piece mum Iwona was an ex-volleyball player, a summercater in which his sister Milena diagrammatic Poland at early days level.
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Just as for any cracking sportsman, the road to the top is long. In Lewandowski’s case, it was literally long as his beget would cause him an hour to the superior to rail and play with Varsovia Capital of poland when he was a teenager.
“They were both P.E. teachers, and my dad happened to be my P.E. teacher. So after schooling he would ride me to training, wait two hours for my seance to end up and then motor me home,” explained Henry m. robert Lewandowski. “Some past parents intellection he was crazy. They really did. I’m not kidding. I literally detected else parents ask my parents, “Why are you doing this?'”
The doubt was all the more apposite as — at that age — no one could fully see the large potency in the large paperweight youth. Yes, he scored goals, but the boy was very far from the man who is now one of the game’s most physically honed specimens
“His legs were so thin; I kept prod him to put some burthen on and eat more Sir Francis Bacon sandwiches,” said Krzysztof Sikorski, Lewandowski’s motorbus at Varsovia. “It didn’t stop him existence a productive scorer, though. I call up one mollify we scored 158 goals, and he got half of them.”
“You can’t ideate how soft and skinny he was as a child”, ex-Varsovia mate Kamil Baczek told 51, the official Bayern Munich magazine. “You almost had to interest astir something occurrence to him. But he was an of import player – he took on all opposing mercilessly.”
“I was small, short-snouted and very skinny,” Lewandowski himself recalled. “Everyone said, ‘You are too small, you won’t make it.’ But I wasn’t releas to give up.”
The commute in body-build would come subsequent thanks to Engender Nature and his wife, Anna, whose university studies in nutriment and fleshly educational activity helped metamorphose her husband. Metal medalist at the 2009 Karate Global Cup, she and Lewandowski met patc they were both at university and he was acting for Znicz Pruszków, the tierce sectionalisation club he married after he had been spurned by Legia Warsaw favourable a knee injury.
“It was one of the last-place days of my life,” wrote the Bayern superstar, who was 17 at the time Legia disapproved him. “Now my life history was descending apart.”
That was because he felt his subjective life had already been shattered. His engender had passed away just over a year earlier, departure Lewandowski devastated. His mother, however, enlisted the help of one of his past coaches and within hours he was breeding at Znicz. No one — least of all Lewandowski himself — could have best-known at the time, but this was the forward step on the path that would lead to the very top of earth football.
That step quickly became strides, investment in rolling towards his eventual goal in his favorite currency: goals. He concluded top scorekeeper in the league with 15 and 21 strikes as he fuelled Znicz’s consecutive promotions in 2007 and 2008. His performances very nearly certain Legia to take him back. Instead, then-sporting managing director Miroslaw Trzeciak pulled the plug on the deal, stating, “Who needs this lad when we’re active to have Mikel Arruabarrena from Tenerife?” Who indeed? Well, Legia as it soured out.
Arruabarrena unsuccessful to find the net in six appearances for Legia, piece Lewandowski coupled Lech Poznan. After lifting the Polish Cup in his starting time campaign, the 2009/10 temper saw the still-spindly fresh fly high with a league-high 18 goals to bring up the club a foremost Gloss league deed in 17 years. The then-Poznan bus Franciszek Smuda must have felt a lilliputian awkward: on a reconnoitring commission just over two geezerhood earlier, he had proprietary Lewandowski “a tree” so awkward his functioning had been.
Such displays inevitably pull attention, and if Trzeciak has any declination active his conclusion not to sign Lewandowski, Dendroica fusca Rovers must have even more.
A Premier League getup at the time, the north-west English club had previously uncomprehensible out on sign language Zinedine Zidane, and were a mountain ash taint away from potentially veiling Lewandowski. Rovers managing director Sam Allardyce had cosmopolitan to Poznan to verbalise to Lewandowski and the Lech president, and a deal seemed imminent.
“After that, some could have gone vicious went wrong,” Blackburn’s head of enlisting at the time, Martyn Glover, said. “A trip to Manchester airdrome had been booked, but a vent irruption in Republic of iceland and the ash dapple it created caused flights to be off throughout Eu for weeks.”
“I desired to go there just to see what the club is like because I didn’t know back then where I was going,” Lewandowski told ESPNFC in 2017 when discussing his intended jaw to Ewood Park. “I couldn’t go but I have to say at that time Blackburn was my second gear option anyway. But maybe if I went there and saw the club — the sports stadium and everything — it would have get along my start choice.”
And his freshman option then?
“There were so many rumours, so many populate informatory me what to do. I could have gone to so many places. But I remembered what my parents had told me: ‘Trust your instincts,'” Lewandowski explained. “Deep down, I always knew where I wished-for to go. Germany was career me.”
“We have reached concord in all areas,” said Borussia Dortmund sporting music director Michael Zorc as they landed Lewandowski with the sort of restrained financial statement clubs exit when they have bought a bright but largely unheard-of player for €4.5 million. It was a demure sum even then. Now, it looks like one of the biggest bargains in the game’s history.
Initially though, it didn’t. Dortmund won the Bundesliga style that season, but the club’s top scorekeeper was named George lucas Barrios, not Henry m. robert Lewandowski. The new arriver came off the terrace to supersede the Paraguay foreign and make his German superior first appearance in a 2-0 licking to Bayer Leverkusen on Matchday 1 of the 2010/11 season. He went on to boast in all but one of his club’s league games.
But coach Jürgen Klopp handed him only 15 starts, and the 22-year-old was mostly used as a sustain striker with Barrios the more stiff of the pair at the time.
“The premier two geezerhood at Dortmund, my finish was not like it is now,” Lewandowski told the BBC in 2019. “After all bingle grooming seance I stayed on the hawk and experienced with my left, my right-minded foot, and organism organized and repetition the movements was very important.”
He also had Klopp ambitious him on. The prevailing Liverpool handler made a bet with Lewandowski: make 10 goals in training, his boss would give him €50, fail to achieve that add together and Lewandowski was the one dipping into his pocket. “The prototypal few weeks, I had to pay up almost all time. He was laughing,” admitted Lewandowski. “But after a few months, the tables turned.”
“I could tell rightist away that he was the most intriguing player to come out of Republic of poland for 20 years,” explained Klopp. “The potency was there and could easily be developed, if he had the reactionist attitude. That is exactly what happened. It was perfect he desired to range the top, and that was all I requisite to know.
“He has all the skills you want from a striker, particularly material lastingness and corking finishing. But he also has the proficiency of a talented midfield player. When he gets the ball in the eye of the shift and distributes it to the wing, it’s like observation a playmaker. The ball is his friend.”Lewandowski credits old Borussia Dortmund passenger car Jürgen Klopp with sharpening his coating skills. –
A overmodest eight goals came in his initiatory temper in Germany, and his minute started with the advancing not having a straighten out scene of what Klopp loved from him. The pair had a wienerwurst discussion, and Lewandowski affected into withering high gear after the talk with the man he recognises is almost literally a mother figure.
“Three days later, I scored a hat illusion and motor-assisted other goal against Augsburg. We won 4–0, and that was the turn target for me,” he said, describing his club’s Matchday 8 win of the 2011/12 season. “It was a noetic thing, a rub of some sort. And I opine it had something to do with my father.
“At the time I didn’t remember active it. But now I recognize that my conversation with Jürgen was like one of those I wish I could’ve had with my dad. One of those I had not been able to have in many, many years. I could talk to Jürgen active anything. I could reliance him. He is a household man, and he has so much empathy for what goes on in your secret life.”
Klopp’s attractive personality and anthropomorphic come to has worked on a host of players before and since, notably Mo Salat at Liverpool. His arm-round-the-shoulder and callous love intermix of man-management brought 22 goals in 34 league appearances — all starts — from his anthesis striker, whose pestilent finish skills were honed sharp by Klopp.
“He taught me so much. When I arrived at Dortmund, I craved to do everything quickly: toughened pass, one come to only. Jürgen showed me to calm down — to take two touches if necessary,” Lewandowski explained.
“It was totally against my nature, but soon I was marking more goals. When I had that down, he challenged me to f number it up again. One touch. BANG. Goal. He slowed me down to bucket along me up. It sounds simple, but it was genius, really.”
It was the only time that Lewandowski has taken over his foot off the bicycle since he affected to Germany.
After pocketing a instant Bundesliga winner’s medal, he poor Friedhelm Konietzka’s 1964/65 club track record by grading in 12 ordered league games. His four-goal haul in the 4-1 UEFA Champions League semi-final mauling of Real Madrid in Apr 2013 was one for the platte books before Dortmund went on to lose narrowly to Bayern in an all-Bundesliga final.The all-Bundesliga 2012/13 UEFA Champions League last terminated in painful dashing hopes for Lewandowski and Dortmund. – Alex Grimm/Getty Images
Lewandowski’s wait for a UEFA Champions League winner’s ribbo — and a new, shining bedfellow — would go on until 2019/20 when he played a median role in Bayern’s minute treble-winning side. A sure-fire approaching in Bavaria seemed confident as crude as February 2013, however, when Zorc disclosed the striker would not be invigorating his contract, which lul had 18 months to run.
He webby twice in a 4-0 win over Hertha Berlin on the ultimate day of the 2013/14 season, the finish touches on his haul of 103 goals in 187 contending appearances for BVB before connection Bayern. “We are very proud of that this transfer is successful,” said the State giant’s CEO, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. “Robert Lewandowski is one of the world’s best strikers, he will beef up the FC Bayern team and give us a boost.” Over 300 contending goals for the club ulterior — at a rate of almost one a game — you could say that, Karl-Heinz.
The hike Henry m. robert Lewandowski gave Bayern was also fuelled by Anna, the striker’s wife.
“When I was active 26, we began to look at how to use her cognition to ameliorate my diet and my genial access to the game,” said Henry martyn robert Lewandowski, who renowned his 26th natal day the day before he made his Bundesliga entry for Bayern in a 2-1 win over Wolfsburg.
“We rundle astir all problem. Again I accomplished something that I wish they would Thatch all three-year-old footballers: Whenever you open up active your problems instead of burial them inside, they instantly became easier to solve. That was a big, big step up in my exploitation as a football player — and as a hominal being.”
Fertile previously, Robert Lewandowski affected up a gear. His new coming to his work off the slant meant he incomprehensible just 10 Bundesliga games finished combat injury in his inaugural septet seasons at Bayern. Ten. His longest piece on the sidelines was four consecutive matches, and that was in the 2020/21 campaign, the one in which he weblike 41 goals in 29 top-hole matches to break Gerd Müller’s single-season marking record, a mark that had stood for nearly half a century.
That undischarged accomplishment — which came with the last breather of the temper in Bayern’s 5-2 win against Augsburg — is not the only time Henry martyn robert Lewandowski has made someone chronicle in the Bundesliga. Anyone think back those five goals in nine minutes? If you don’t, it substance you simply didn’t see it. Having said that, even those who saw it could scarcely trust it.
“This is something I have never veteran before,” said then-Bayern motorbus Pep Guardiola, who had previously witnessed the maven of players such as Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta. “I can’t really sympathise it. Five goals. Neither as a manager nor as a player did I ever live something like this and I can’t really explicate it.”
“This was just crazy. Five goals, that’s just unbelievable. I just sought-after to flash and wasn’t thought process astir what happened afterwards,” said Lewandowski, who had come off the work bench at parttime with his team 1-0 down against Wolfsburg before flipping the scoreline violently on its head between the 51st to the 60th minutes.
“I looked up at the circuit card after the tierce or quaternary goal and I was astounded there was hush up so much time left to play. The carriage did not have to tell me anything. I knew what had to be done. But it was only one game, we have to win the next games as well. We are Bayern Munich.”
That sort of persuasion was echoed by Bayern skipper Philipp Lahm post-game, who was only half-joking when he said: “You have to stay nitpicking — Henry martyn robert Lewandowski could have grabbed heptad tonight…he lost two big chances!”
He certainly hasn’t incomprehensible many since. He has claimed the private purity of organism the Bundesliga’s incomparable directing nonnative scorer, and has stirred irregular whole in the German top flight’s grading graph prat Müller, whose 365 league strikes for Bayern may be just out of range for Henry martyn robert Lewandowski, who upset 33 in Grand 20.
Then again, they power not with the Pole having passed the 300-goal mark in Lordly 2021 and his known committedness to his own and Bayern’s causal agent retention him on the slant and in tip-top condition.
“He is the most business player I have ever met,” new Manchester City boss Guardiola said in Feb 2016. “In his head, he thinks astir the right field food, eternal rest and training: 24 hours a day. He is always there – never mutilated – because he focuses on these things. He always knows what is evidential to be in the best condition.”
He certainly seems to — just when you opine he has sick — find a new cruising altitude.
He smitten a career-high 15 UEFA Champions League goals in 2019/20, the time of year in which he also bust the Bundesliga phonograph recording for the highest fit for a strange player with 34. Then came his stratospheric record-setting 2020/21 in which he scored 48 multiplication in just 40 agonistical appearances for Bayern to wrap up a 9th sequent claim win. That is what makes him a walkaway for the Ballon d’Or, an honour he arguably would have won last year too if the epidemic had not led to it existence cancelled.
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