Bayern – Barcelona: Lewandowski Crusher | sports

Lewandowski, in training prior to the European game against Barcelona.
Lewandowski, in training prior to the European game against Barcelona.CHRISTOF STACHE (AFP)

He failed simple shots and sung goals because he suffered from the evil of the small goal, the one that strikers accuse when they lack confidence. It was 2010, his first year in the Bundesliga, and it seemed that Robert Lewandowski (Warsaw, Poland, 33 years old) was too big for him. Even from the stands they baptized him Chancentod (kill occasion). “I expected more game, more goals and that he would hold the contact better,” resolved Jürgen Klopp, then his coach at Dortmund. So that Lewy —As he is known in the locker room— he decided to cultivate his physique to the point that a couple of years later he was baptized The body. Since then, he has not stopped scoring goals, crusher of records at Bayern. Now he is targeting Barça, a forward who would like to enjoy the Camp Nou, because in the Barça squad there are three goalkeepers, six center-backs, four full-backs, two midfielders, six interiors, five wingers and three points that don’t make one; Memphis is a fake 9, Kun is not sure if he will return to the mat due to his heart problems and Luuk de Jong is looking for equipment.

At the last Ballon d’Or gala, Lewandowski appeared flanked by Bayern president Herbert Hainer, CEO Oliver Kahn and sports director Hasan Salihamidzic. Sign of the capital of the nine, to the point that in Bavaria they get upset when talking about Haaland (Dortmund) because, the club used to signing the best in the Bundesliga, they understand that for now the Polish is better. “You should have the Ballon d’Or at home,” Messi acknowledged at the awards ceremony, referring to last season’s award that was not awarded due to the pandemic. “He deserved it,” Kahn lamented. “After they did not give him the Ballon d’Or, Robert wants to show his football on the field,” said Julian Nagelsmann, at the press conference prior to taking on Barça. “Only for that reason we want to win the Champions League again and Barça is the first opportunity to show it,” added Thomas Müller.

Although Bayern are already classified as group winners, Nagelsmann is supposed to make rotations. Which does not mean that Lewandowski asks to play. “He always wants to be on the pitch and he always wants to score. It has no limits, “says Cacau, a former Stuttgart striker who played with Germany in the 2010 World Cup.” If he does not, Bayern will have a problem because they have no other forward to shine, they depend a lot on him, “adds Thomas Berthold, Former Bavarian player (1989-91) and world champion in Italy 90. “He and Müller will play”, settled Nagelsmann, who also cannot count on Choupo-Moting, with covid. “You have to make him play outside the area and participate as little as possible in the game,” resolved Piqué; “It’s very good but what makes it different is the definition.” This is how Xavi saw it: “If he’s not the best center forward, he’s one of the best. You have to stop him with the entire defensive line and get him out of the area because there he is definitive ”.

Lewy’s desire also goes through reaching the 17 goals that Cristiano Ronaldo achieved in 2013-14 in a Champions League, a milestone that he almost achieved two seasons ago (15). At the moment he is on the road, already with nine goals in 19 shots in this edition. There are seven more goals than all of Barça in this course in Europe. And if you look at the overall record of the course, the Barça team adds 25 goals between the League and Europe, and Lewandowski alone, 27.

“He has improved over the years thanks to his ambition, his work and the coaches he has had such as Klopp, Heynckes, Guardiola … They made him understand football better,” says Cacau. “Not only the coaches, but they have surrounded him with better players over the years, which has made him a more flexible player, capable of playing outside the box,” adds Berthold.

It is a machine that has only missed 17 games due to injury of the 386 since it is at Bayern. “Eat, sleep and train to improve. And he is never injured because he focuses on diet and proper preparation, ”Guardiola said when he directed him at Bayern. A diet supervised by his wife, Anna Stachurska, a nutritionist and professional karateka —two bronze medals (2008 and 2014) and one silver (2012) at the World Cups—, and complemented with overtime in the gym at home and sessions of yoga. It is his recipe for the goal, which does not fail. Not even to achieve a degree in Physical Education four years ago, since his thesis was titled RL9, road to glory.

The most complete

“Instinct is key, but there are things that can be worked on every day. If you do it hard and focus on the details, you will play better ”, explains the forward, who as a child looked at Roberto Baggio, Del Piero and then Henry. He has surpassed all of them in registers, as skilled in movements as with his feet, even if he wears a 44. “There are different ones, but at present he is the best in his position”, agrees Berthold. “There is no better forward today or more complete. He has quality, strength, goal, head and foot shot, ”says Cacau. “That’s why they play for him, for his football,” says Berthold. “But it is not a backpack for Robert; in each game he explains with goals that they can count on him ”, adds Cacau.

With 293 goals in the Bundesliga, only Gerd Müller (365) has yet to reach. Although last year he took away being the player with the most goals in a season -41 for the 40 of the mythical German striker-, a record that dated back to 1972. In Europe it is more of the same, since he counts 82 goals in the Champions League, only for behind Messi (125) and Cristiano Ronaldo (135). The Barça, also pending of the Benfica, will have to calm the beast if it wants to happen of round.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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