How brilliant is Bayern and Poland forward Robert Lewandowski? | UEFA Champions League
Robert Lewandowski reached another milestone on Tuesday as he made his 100th appearance in the UEFA Champions League. How could he celebrate other than with a hat-trick and an assist (we’ll forgive the missed penalty) in Bayern’s 5-2 win over Benfica.
The 33-year-old became the 42nd centurion of the competition, joining a group of players acclaimed for amassing 100 or more outings, led by frontman Cristiano Ronaldo. He further cemented his place at third in the UEFA Champions League all-time top scorers chart with 81 goals, reaching the 80-goal mark in record time.
UEFA.com sings the praises of the winner of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League.
What they say
“He deserves the Ballon d’Or, and in my eyes he has to win the award because he has played incredibly consistently over the past three years like no one else.”
Julian Nagelsmann, Bayern coach
“He is extremely important because the quality that he has raises our level and you can see a country counting on him. He is still a very sensitive boy, he always wants to play. You can see everything he has achieved so far. ‘now. He needs discipline, ambition; he always needs to push himself to the limit. “
Paolo Sousa, Poland coach
“He is one of the most professional footballers I have ever worked with. He eats, sleeps and trains for his job. He is never injured because he is so focused on the right diet. and good preparation. “
Josep Guardiola, former Bayern Munich coach
“He’s one of the best, and maybe the best striker in the world. He scores goals in almost every game and of course I think he deserves to be on top and talk about it with [Messi and Ronaldo]. “
David Alaba, former Bayern defender
“I can only say the same thing: he’s amazing. He keeps scoring and he’s a machine. Right now he’s the best.”
Serge Gnabry, Bayern teammate
“One of his finest qualities has always been his back to goal, protecting the ball. The fact that he has become a world-class striker is due to his work ethic in training and his ambition. . The way he motivates himself is amazing. “
Jürgen Klopp, former Borussia Dortmund coach
“He was very thin, his legs were like sticks and I was always afraid that others would break them. I wanted him to be stronger physically and I even advised him to eat more bacon! a season where my team scored 158 goals; Robert got half of them. “
Krzysztof Sikorski, Lewandowski youth coach in Warsaw Warszawa
“In the 70s Poland had Kazimierz Deyna, in the 80s Boniek, and now we have Lewandowski. The current success of our national team is due to teamwork, but every success needs a face, and that face is Robert Lewandowski. He’s absolutely world class. “
Zbigniew Boniek, former Polish striker and president of the Polish Football Association (PZPN)
International: 127 appearances, 72 goals
UEFA club competitions: 125 appearances, 88 goals
Domestic competition: 547 appearances, 404 goals
Claim to fame
• Top scorer in the first three divisions in Poland with Znicz Pruszków (third division 2006/07, second division 2007/08) and Lech Poznań (first division 2009/10).
• Scored the winning goal on his European debut as Lech Poznań defeated Xäzär Länkäran 1-0 in a UEFA Cup qualifier on 17 July 2008.
• In March 2013, broke Friedhelm Konietzka’s record by scoring in 12 successive Dortmund league games.
• Became the first player to score four goals in a UEFA Champions League semi-final game as Dortmund beat Real Madrid 4-1 on April 24, 2013. The only other Pole to score a hat-trick against Les Merengues was Jan Urban, along with Osasuna. , in December 1990.
• Left Dortmund as the club’s top European scorer with 18 goals (a record later broken by Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang).
• Set a world record scoring five goals in eight minutes and 59 seconds in a 5-1 win over Wolfsburg on September 22, 2015. His loot included the fastest Bundesliga treble (four minutes) and the biggest number of goals in the Bundesliga by a substitute (five).
• Scored 82 goals in his first 100 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern; the best stats for any new recruit in the history of the competition.
• In 2015/16, became the first foreign player to score 30 goals in a single Bundesliga season (and the first player of any nationality to score 30 since Dieter Müller in 1976/77). He equaled that tally in 2016/17, emulating Gerd Müller by becoming only the second player to score 30 in consecutive Bundesliga campaigns.
• With 286 goals, is by far the most prolific foreign goalscorer in Bundesliga history; he eclipsed Claudio Pizarro’s record of 195 in March 2019.
• Reached 50 goals for 2019/20 with his double in the German Cup final: he finished the season as the top scorer in both domestic competitions after his third double with Bayern.
• Scored 41 times in 29 appearances for Bayern in 2020/21, he broke Gerd Müller’s record of 40 goals in 1971/72 for most goals in a single Bundesliga season.
• The Bundesliga’s top scorer for four consecutive seasons, his total of 41 goals in 2020/21 has also crowned him top scorer in Europe’s five big domestic leagues.
• In September 2020, Lewandowski’s strike against Schalke helped him surpass Karl-Heinz Rummenigge’s Bundesliga tally of 162 goals for Bayern. With 212 he is just behind Gerd Müller’s total of 365.
• Marked his 100th Champions League appearance as the fastest player to reach the 80-goal mark, compared to 102 for Lionel Messi and 116 for Ronaldo. He also brought his total to 64 European goals for Bayern, surpassing Gerd Müller’s record of 62.
Poland national team
• September 10, 2008, at 20 years and 20 days, became Poland’s second youngest goalscorer; Włodzimierz Lubański, 17, holds the record.
• Scored 13 goals in the UEFA EURO 2016 qualifiers, tying David Healy’s record total for Northern Ireland heading into UEFA EURO 2008.
• From June 13, 2015 to June 10, 2017 Lewandowski scored in 11 consecutive European qualifiers – almost certainly a world record.
• The Eagles’ all-time top scorer with 72 goals, he has a 24-goal cushion ahead of Włodzimierz Lubański’s 48 goals.
• Breaked new ground with 16 goals in ten qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, a European record.
• Is the most capped Polish player with 127 appearances. Jakub Błaszczykowski occupies second place in this ranking with 108 international outings.
What you might not know
• In an interview with UEFA.com, he admitted that training with his boxer dog had helped him recover from an injury earlier in his career.
• His physique turned heads in Dortmund, where he was nicknamed “The Body”.
• Dedicates his first goal for each club – and all important goals – to his father, Krzysztof, who died as a teenager; his celebration consists of pointing his two index fingers upwards.
• Lewandowski’s penalty against Leverkusen on August 18, 2017 was converted after the Bundesliga referee’s very first decision following a video review.
• Wife Anna Lewandowska is a karate champion and fitness expert, tabloids in Poland suggesting she is in charge of her husband’s diet and training regimes. In December 2016, Lewandowski announced that his wife was pregnant with a goal celebration against Atlético. In May 2017, Anna gave birth to the first of their two daughters.
• Off the pitch he is involved in a company that builds apartments in and around Warsaw. In October 2017, he graduated in physical education from the Warsaw School of Sports Education. His diploma thesis was based on his own career and titled: “RL 9, path to glory”.
• To avoid being harassed when on the go, it has been claimed that Lewandowski asks friends to call him “Emil”.
What he says
“Is it hard to talk about my job? It’s the media’s job! I prefer to go home and focus on the next game instead. I try to disconnect and not too follow what people are doing. It’s more important to focus on training, working hard and putting my energy into the next game – how to score more goals, how to win, that’s what I’m trying to focus on.
“You must always believe in your abilities. I always know there will be chances.”
“Instinct is fine sometimes, but there are things you can work on in training. If you work hard and focus on the details, you might not even realize it. , but you start doing some things automatically during games. That’s the beauty of football. Even though my right foot is better than my left, I have to work hard on both. “
“When I was a very young player, six or eight years old, I admired Roberto Baggio. When I grew up a little, it was Alessandro Del Piero. And when I knew a little more, it was Thierry Henry. His movement, his technique and the way he kicked the ball and scored goals – it was great to see that as a kid. I learned a lot from him. “
What he could still accomplish
• With 289 Bundesliga goals, Lewandowski is second in the standings all-time; his next goal is Gerd Müller’s national record of 365.
• Reach second place in the UEFA Champions League top scorers rankings; he is currently third with 81 goals. A little ahead is a certain Messi, whose ever-increasing tally is 123.