After having won everything with Bayern, Robert Lewandowski is about to offer himself a new challenge at 33: to win in Barcelona, in a league other than the Bundesliga, and prove, as he himself said. , that he can still “get better with age”.
Twice named best Fifa player of the year (2020 and 2021) but never Ballon d’Or, the Pole is one of the greatest scorers of the last decade, only outclassed by the two extraterrestrials Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
His record is impressive: Ten times German champion (including twice with Dortmund and eight with Munich), winner with Bayern of the Champions League and the Club World Cup, he is also the third top scorer of all times in the Champions League (86 goals, tied with Benzema), and the second top scorer in Bundesliga history with 312 goals, second only to the legendary Gerd Müller (365 goals).
But what seemed like an endless love affair with Bayern for years came to an abrupt end. And his way of announcing unilaterally, from Poland, that his relationship with Bayern was “over” shocked Germany, a country which has praised him for more than ten years.
“These are words unworthy of this player, who thus tarnishes his immaculate image”, commented in particular Kicker, the reference magazine of German football.
– “Not respected” –
Last December, Lewandowski still affirmed in front of the whole world, when receiving his prize for best Fifa player: “I don’t need to go and prove myself in another championship. With the Champions League, I can measure against the best. I’m 100% focused on Bayern and I can’t think of anything else.”
Six months later, the gunner slams the door when he still has a year of contract left.
What happened in the meantime? According to his agent Pini Zahavi, “he has not felt respected by the leaders for several months. Bayern have not lost the player Lewandowski, they have lost the man Robert”, says this adviser.
The press claim that Lewandowski took it badly to learn that Bayern had tried to sign Erling Haaland, the Norwegian prodigy striker who eventually left Dortmund for Manchester City.
Seeing a 21-year-old direct competitor arrive would not have pleased this athlete with a steel body, almost never injured, who considers – and his performances prove it – that he is still at the top of his form despite his 33 years.
“Age is just a number, I feel very good, my form indicators have never been so good, he said, moreover, at the end of 2021, I know that with my body, I I can still play for years at the highest level”.
– “The Body” –
Coached by his wife, a former Polish karate international who notably manages his diet, the striker maintains an impressive physique through an extremely rigorous lifestyle. His teammates had nicknamed him “The Body”, in homage to his body sculpted by weight training.
“My husband is a machine,” says Ms. Lewandowska.
Ball at the foot, the player discovered in 2010 in Lech Poznan by Dortmund is less spectacular than Messi or Neymar. His direct game, of formidable efficiency, is not encumbered with technical frills or swaying dribbling. But he is in the right place, at the right time, to place the perfect striker gesture.
Has this lack of glamor harmed her in the past? The man has in any case suffered from not always being recognized for his talent. In 2016, he finished 16th in the Ballon d’Or, won by Ronaldo, and expressed his frustration on Twitter with a line of “laugh to tears” emoticons, before calling the France Football contest a “cabaret”!
Never satisfied with victories, he left for Barcelona with the firm intention of gleaning a few more titles there. And why not another individual award or two, if he helps bring the Catalan club back to the top of Europe?