Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski (Polish pronunciation: [ˈrɔbɛrt lɛvanˈdɔfskʲi] (About this soundlisten); born 21 August 1988) is a Polish professional footballer who plays as a striker for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and is the captain of the Poland national team. He is renowned for his positioning, technique and finishing, and is widely regarded as one of the best players in the world, and one of the best strikers in Bundesliga history. He has scored over 500 senior career goals for club and country.

Robert Lewandowski
JAP-POL (6) (cropped) (cropped).jpg
Lewandowski playing for Poland at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Personal information
Full name Robert Lewandowski[1]
Date of birth (1988-08-21) 21 August 1988 (age 32)[2]
Place of birth Warsaw, Poland
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)[3]
Playing position(s) Striker
Club information
Current team
Bayern Munich
Number 9
Youth career
1996–1997 Partyzant Leszno
1997–2004 MKS Varsovia Warsaw
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005 Delta Warsaw 17 (4)
2005–2006 Legia Warsaw II 12 (2)
2006–2008 Znicz Pruszków 59 (36)
2008–2010 Lech Poznań 58 (32)
2010–2014 Borussia Dortmund 131 (74)
2014– Bayern Munich 198 (174)
National team
2007 Poland U19 1 (0)
2008 Poland U21 3 (0)
2008– Poland 116 (63)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:22, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23:48, 18 November 2020 (UTC)

After being the top scorer in the third and second tiers of Polish football with Znicz Pruszków, Lewandowski moved to top-flight Lech Poznań, helping the team win the 2009–10 Ekstraklasa. In 2010, he transferred to Borussia Dortmund, where he won honours including two consecutive Bundesliga titles and the league's top goalscorer award. In 2013, he also featured with Dortmund in the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final. Prior to the start of the 2014–15 season, Lewandowski agreed to join Dortmund's domestic rivals, Bayern Munich, on a free transfer.[4] In Munich, he has won the Bundesliga title in each of his first six seasons. Lewandowski was integral in Bayern's UEFA Champions League win in 2019–20 as part of a treble. He is one of only two players to achieve the European treble, while being the top scorer in all three competitions.[5][6]

A full international for Poland since 2008, Lewandowski has earned over 110 caps and was a member of their team at UEFA Euro 2012, Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. With 63 international goals, Lewandowski is the all-time top scorer for Poland. He won IFFHS World's Top International Goal Scorer of the Year Award in 2015. He has been named the Polish Player of the Year a record eight times.

In 2020, Lewandowski won the UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award. He has been named to the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season three times, and is the joint third-highest goalscorer in the history of the competition.[7] Lewandowski has been named the VDV Bundesliga Player of the Season a record four times. He has scored over 200 goals in the Bundesliga, having reached the century mark quicker than any other foreign player, and is the league's all-time leading foreign goalscorer.[8] Moreover, He has won Bundesliga Top Scorer Award for five times. He was awarded four Guinness World Records for the fastest five-goal haul in any major European football league since records have been kept, after scoring five times in nine minutes against Wolfsburg in 2015.[9]

Club career

Early career

"When I was six, I remember Roberto Baggio at the 1994 World Cup. When I was between 10 and 14, Alessandro Del Piero was the best player for me. Then my idol was Thierry Henry. He was amazing – it wasn't just how he scored the goals but what he did for the team."

—Lewandowski on his childhood role models[10]

Lewandowski was born in Warsaw[11] and grew up in Leszno, Warsaw West County.[12] He took his first steps in football as an unregistered player for the local club, Partyzant Leszno.[13] In 1997, he joined MKS Varsovia Warsaw, where as a teen he played for seven years.[14] The following year he moved to Delta Warsaw, where he finally managed to play in the first team, scoring four goals.[15]

In 2006–07, Lewandowski was the Polish third division's top goal scorer with 15 goals, helping Znicz Pruszków win promotion.[16] The next season he was the top scorer in the Polish second division with 21 goals.[16]

Lech Poznań

 
Lewandowski, playing for Lech Poznań, was the top scorer of the 2009–10 Ekstraklasa, with 18 goals.

In June 2008, Lech Poznań signed Lewandowski from Znicz for 1.5 million PLN.[14][17] Earlier that month, Lewandowski's agent Cezary Kucharski offered him to his former team Sporting Gijón, which had been promoted to the Spanish top league after ten years in the second tier. However, Sporting rejected him.[18]

He made his debut for Lech in July 2008 as a substitute in a first-round UEFA Cup qualifier versus Khazar Lankaran from Azerbaijan. In that match, he scored the only goal of the match. During his Ekstraklasa debut in the first game of the season in a match against GKS Bełchatów, he scored a heel flick goal just four minutes after coming into the game late second half. In his first season in the Polish top division, he was second in the goal-scoring charts. He finished the season with 18 goals in 42 matches.[19] The next season, he became the top scorer with 18 goals and helped his team win the 2009–10 championship.[19]

English coach, Sam Allardyce, said that Lewandowski was about to join Blackburn Rovers in 2010, but the volcanic ash clouds caused by the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull which suspended all flights in and out of the UK, in addition to other financial worries, prevented the potential transfer.[20]

Borussia Dortmund

2010–2012: Debut season, league and cup double

Following press speculation that Lewandowski might move to one of a number of clubs,[21][22] he joined Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund in June 2010, signing a four-year contract with the German club[23] for a fee reported to be worth around 4.5 million.[24] On 19 September, he scored his first goal in the Bundesliga to make it 3–0 in the Revierderby against Schalke 04; the game ended 3–1.[25]

In the 2011–12 Bundesliga campaign, Lewandowski profited from an injury of Lucas Barrios and he was elevated to an ever-present position in the starting XI until the winter break. The striker responded by finding the net two times in Dortmund's 3–0 DFB-Pokal first round victory over SV Sandhausen.[26] Lewandowski opened his league account in a 2–0 win over 1. FC Nürnberg on 20 August 2011 by providing the finishing touch from a Mario Götze cross.[27] On 1 October, Lewandowski provided an assist and netted a hat-trick in the club's 4–0 victory over FC Augsburg,[28] following a disappointing 3–0 loss to Olympique de Marseille in the Champions League group stage.[29] He later scored his first Champions League goal in a 1–3 away defeat to Olympiacos on 19 October.[30] Dortmund climbed into second place in the Bundesliga with a comfortable 5–0 victory over 1. FC Köln on 22 October, with Lewandowski finding the net either side of half-time.[31] Dortmund travelled to SC Freiburg on 17 December and Lewandowski struck twice and provided an assist for Kevin Großkreutz, as Dortmund eased to a 4–1 triumph.[32] Due to his strong performances, he was named Best Player of the Year in Poland.[33]

Following the winter break, on 22 January 2012, Dortmund thrashed Hamburger SV 5–1 to move level on points with leaders Bayern Munich; Lewandowski netted twice and added an assist for Jakub Błaszczykowski in the rout.[34] He scored in a 1–0 home win over Bayern Munich on 11 April.[35] The result gave Dortmund a six-point cushion over their title rivals with only four games left to play.[36] On 21 April, Lewandowski provided the assist for Shinji Kagawa's 59th-minute goal as Dortmund won 2–0 over Borussia Mönchengladbach to seal their second straight title.[37] In the final Bundesliga game of the campaign, Lewandowski scored two first-half goals as Dortmund beat Freiburg 4–0 and celebrated lifting the title.[38]

Lewandowski finished the year as the third top goal scorer with 22 goals, none from the penalty spot, and six assists.[39]

In the final game of the season for Dortmund, he scored a hat-trick in the DFB-Pokal Final, a 5–2 win over Bayern Munich, to earn the club its first league and cup double.[40][41] Lewandowski finished as the DFB-Pokal's top goalscorer, with seven goals from six games.[42]

2012–2014: Champions League runner-up and league top goalscorer

 
Lewandowski playing for Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal against Wilhelmshaven in August 2013

Lewandowski made his first appearance of the Bundesliga campaign in Dortmund's 2–1 victory over Werder Bremen on the opening day of the season.[43] He netted his first goal in the 3–0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen on 15 September 2012, extending Dortmund's run to 31 games unbeaten and moved the club into third in the Bundesliga.[44] Three days later, in the club's first Champions League game of the season, Lewandowski netted an emphatic 87th-minute winner to defeat Ajax by a score of 1–0.[45] He set club's new record of the longest scoring streak, having scored in 12 consecutive league games, surpassing Friedhelm Konietzka's record from 1964–65 season.[46] On 9 February 2013, Lewandowski opened the scoring in a home match against Hamburger SV, but was sent off in the 31st minute for a foul on Per Ciljan Skjelbred and Dortmund lost 1–4. He finished season with 24 league goals, one goal short of the Bundesliga's topscorer, Bayer Leverkusen's Stefan Kießling.

According to Borussia Dortmund director Michael Zorc, speaking in February 2013, Lewandowski would not be renewing his contract with the club, and would leave either in the summer of 2013 or after the 2013–14 season.[47]

On 24 April 2013, Lewandowski became the first player to score four goals in a Champions League semi-final as Borussia Dortmund defeated Spanish champions Real Madrid 4–1 in the first leg at BVB's Westfalenstadion.[48][49] On 25 May, he played in the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final in which Borussia were defeated 2–1 by Bayern Munich.[50]

On 27 July 2013, Lewandowski won the 2013 German Super Cup with Dortmund 4–2 against Bayern Munich.[51] He scored his first goal of the season in Dortmund's 4–0 win over Augsburg in the club's opening Bundesliga match on 10 August.[52] On 1 November, he scored his only hat-trick of the season in a 6–1 Bundesliga win against VfB Stuttgart.[53]

On 25 February 2014, Lewandowski scored twice in Champions League round-of-16 first-leg against Zenit Saint Petersburg, becoming BVB's overall top scorer in European competition, surpassing Stéphane Chapuisat's 16 goals record.[54] He scored his 100th goal for the club on his 182nd appearance, as Dortmund defeated VfL Wolfsburg in the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal on 16 April 2014, and revealed a shirt with the number 100 in celebration.[55]

Lewandowski ended the 2013–14 season as the top goalscorer in the Bundesliga with 20 goals.[56] He also scored six goals in the Champions League, as Borussia reached the quarter-finals.[57] During the second leg of the round of 16 match between Borussia Dortmund and Zenit, Lewandowski received a second yellow card which resulted in him being suspended for the first leg of the quarter-final against Real Madrid.

Lewandowski played his final match for Dortmund in the 2014 German Cup final against Bayern Munich on 17 May. Manager Jürgen Klopp had excused him from some training ahead of the final due to injury concerns; although Lewandowski played all 120 minutes of the final, Dortmund lost 2–0.[58] He finished the season with 28 goals in 48 matches.[51][59]

Bayern Munich

2014–2017: Collective and individual success

In November 2013, Lewandowski confirmed he would sign a pre-contractual agreement for Borussia Dortmund's rivals Bayern Munich[60] which officially happened on 3 January 2014; signing a five-year contract, joining the team at the start of the 2014–15 season.[61] Lewandowski was officially presented as a Bayern Munich player on 9 July 2014.[62]

Pre-season started on 9 July 2014[63] at which time he was presented.[62] He made his pre–season debut on 21 July 2014, scoring a goal in the process.[64] On 6 August, he opened the scoring as Bayern contested the 2014 MLS All-Star Game in Portland, Oregon, eventually losing 1–2.[65]

 
Lewandowski playing in the Champions League against CSKA Moscow in October 2014

He made his competitive debut for his new club in a 2–0 loss to Borussia Dortmund in the 2014 German Super Cup on 13 August 2014,[66] and scored his first goal in a 1–1 draw against Schalke 04 in his second league match on 30 August.[67] On 21 October, Lewandowski scored his first Champions League goal with Bayern Munich in a 7–1 away win against A.S. Roma.[68] On 1 November, in his first league match against Dortmund, Lewandowski scored in a 2–1 win which put Bayern four points clear at the top of the table while leaving his former club in a relegation play-off place.[69] In his third match of the season against Dortmund on 4 April 2015, Lewandowski scored in the 36th minute in a 1–0 win.[70] He had scored after Roman Weidenfeller "parried" Thomas Müller's shot.[71]

On 21 February 2015, Lewandowski scored twice in Bayern's 6–0 win away at SC Paderborn 07, his second goal of the game was his 10th of the league season.[72] He scored twice in the first half on 21 April as Bayern overturned a deficit from the first leg to defeat FC Porto 7–4 on aggregate and advance to the semi-finals of the Champions League.[73] Five days later, after VfL Wolfsburg lost to Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayern won the Bundesliga title.[74] On 28 April, he scored again in a DFB-Pokal semi-final against Dortmund, opening a 1–1 draw which ended in Bayern's elimination via a penalty shootout.[75] With 17 goals in 31 games, Lewandowski was joint-second highest scorer of the Bundesliga season alongside teammate Arjen Robben, behind Eintracht Frankfurt's Alexander Meier.[76] He finished the season with 25 goals in 49 appearances.[66][77]

Lewandowski's second season began with the German Super Cup on 1 August, with Bayern losing in a penalty shootout away to VfL Wolfsburg; he had been substituted in the 72nd minute for Rafinha.[78] Eight days later in the first round of the DFB-Pokal, he scored the last goal in a 3–1 win against Oberliga Baden-Württemberg club FC Nöttingen.[79] On 14 August, in the opening match of the new Bundesliga season, he scored the second goal of a 5–0 win over Hamburg.[80]

On 22 September 2015, Lewandowski set a Bundesliga record by coming on as a substitute with Bayern trailing 0–1 to Wolfsburg and scoring five goals in 8 minutes and 59 seconds, the fastest by any player in Bundesliga history, to take a 5–1 lead. He also set Bundesliga records for the fastest hat-trick (three goals in four minutes), and most goals scored by a substitute (five).[81] Lewandowski's five goals in nine minutes was also the fastest in any major European football league since Opta began keeping records, and it ended Wolfsburg's 14-match unbeaten run.[82] He was awarded four certificates by Guinness World Records for this feat.[83]

Four days later, he scored twice in a 3–0 win at 1. FSV Mainz 05, the first goal being his 100th Bundesliga goal on his 168th appearance, a league record for a foreign player. He also reached 10 goals in the opening 7 matches with this brace, a feat only done before by Gerd Müller.[84] On 29 September, he scored a Champions League hat-trick in a 5–0 win over Dinamo Zagreb, putting him on ten goals in three games in a week.[85] He added two in a 5–1 rout of Dortmund five days later, to total 12 goals in his last four appearances.[86] On 24 October, Lewandowski scored in a 4–0 home win over 1. FC Köln, a result which made Bayern the first Bundesliga team ever to win all 10 of their opening games of a season.[87] The victory in Cologne was also Bayern's 1,000th win in the Bundesliga.[88] On 11 January 2016, he achieved fourth place at the 2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or awards.[89]

On 19 March 2016, Lewandowski scored the only goal in a 1–0 win against Köln[90] to bring his league total up to 25 goals; a new personal best.[90] He had scored 24 goals for Borussia Dortmund during the 2012–13 season.[91] His goal against Atlético Madrid on 3 May in the second leg of Bayern's Champions League semi-final exit saw him end the season's competition with nine goals.[92]

On 7 May 2016, Lewandowski scored both goals for Bayern in a 2–1 win at FC Ingolstadt to confirm the Bavarian club as champions of Germany for the fourth consecutive season.[93] A week later, he scored his 30th goal of the season in Bayern's final league match of the season at home to Hannover 96. This made him the first foreign player to score 30 goals in the Bundesliga, the first player since Dieter Müller in 1976–77, and secured him the Torjägerkanone for the second time in three seasons.[94] He finished the season with 42 goals in 51 matches.[78][95]

The 2016–17 season started with Bayern winning the 2016 German Super Cup on 14 August 2016.[96] On 19 August, in the first round of the DFB-Pokal, Bayern defeated Carl Zeiss Jena 5–0 with the help of Lewandowski's hat trick during the first half.[97] He also assisted Arturo Vidal's goal in the seventy-second minute.[98] Lewandowski opened the 2016–17 Bundesliga season with a hat trick in a 6–0 victory against Werder Bremen.[99] On 13 December, Lewandowski signed a new contract with Bayern, keeping him at the club until 2021.[100]

 
Lewandowski in training in March 2017

On 11 March 2017, Lewandowski reached 100 goals for Bayern in his 137th appearance for the club, scoring twice in a 3–0 victory against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga.[101] He finished the season with 42 goals in 47 matches.[96][102]

2017–present: Back-to-back Golden Boots and treble win

The season began with Bayern Munich winning the 2017 German Super Cup against Borussia Dortmund. Lewandowski scored the opening goal for Bayern by controlling a low cross from Joshua Kimmich to cancel out Christian Pulisic's opener. The match ended 2–2 after extra time. Lewandowski again scored the first penalty of the shootout as Bayern eventually won 5–4 to win the super cup.[103]

Lewandowski started from where he left in the last season and once again was the top scorer in the early stages of the Bundesliga. On 13 December 2017, in the league fixture against 1. FC Köln, he scored the only goal of the game to reach the top ten of goalscorers in the Bundesliga.[104] A couple of months later, on Matchday 22, Lewandowski again found the back of the net against Schalke 04 at Allianz Arena to equal the record of scoring in 11 successive home games in a single season, a record also held by then Bayern manager Jupp Heynckes.[105] He continued his goal scoring form by scoring a hat-trick against Hamburger SV as the runaway leaders won 6–0, while he also missed a kick from the spot which would have been his fourth goal of the day. This was his first penalty missed for Bayern in the Bundesliga, nevertheless he scored the second spot kick to complete his hat-trick.[106]

On 11 February 2018, Lewandowski was voted Poland's Footballer of the Year for the seventh time in a row.[107] On 22 February 2018, Lewandowski fired his long-time agent, Cezary Kucharski. Lewandowski hired renowned dealmaker Pini Zahavi as his new agent. The hiring of Zahavi was rumoured to be the start of Lewandowski trying to seal a summer move to Real Madrid.[108] On 24 February 2018, Lewandowski played his 250th Bundesliga game against Hertha BSC.[109] On 19 May 2018, Lewandowski scored Bayern Munich's only goal in a 3–1 defeat in the DFB-Pokal Final against Eintracht Frankfurt.[110]

Lewandowski finished the season as the Bundesliga's top goalscorer with 29 goals. This was the third time Lewandowski won the Bundesliga's top goalscorer award.[111] He finished the season with 41 goals in 48 matches in all competitions.[112]

On 1 August 2018, after a summer of transfer speculation, Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, confirmed in an interview that Lewandowski would not be allowed to leave Bayern Munich at any price. Rummenigge said "Our door remains closed, the top quality we have at Bayern Munich will stay here. With Robert, we clearly want to send a signal to people within and outside the club: Bayern Munich are completely different to other clubs who get weak when certain sums are mentioned"[113] On 12 August 2018, Lewandowski recorded the first ever hat-trick in the German Super Cup against Eintracht Frankfurt in the 2018 edition as Bayern Munich went on to win the title for the record seventh time.[114] He also became the all-time top scorer in the German Super Cup history.[115][116]

On 27 November 2018, Lewandowski became the third-fastest player to score 50 goals in the Champions League when he scored two goals in a 5–1 win over Benfica. It took Lewandowski just 77 Champions League matches to reach the milestone.[117] Lewandowski finished as the top scorer in the UEFA Champions League group stage with eight goals in six matches.[118] On 9 February 2019, Lewandowski scored in a 3–1 win over Schalke and in doing so became the first player to score 100 competitive goals at the Allianz Arena. His goal was also his 119th league goal for Bayern Munich which saw him draw level with Roland Wohlfarth as the club's third-highest goalscorer of all-time.[119]

 
Lewandowski in 2019

He surpassed Wohlfarth the following month after scoring a brace in a 5–1 win over Gladbach, with his second goal also seeing him equal Claudio Pizarro's record of 195 league goals for the most Bundesliga goals by a foreign player.[120][121] In his very next fixture, he broke Pizarro's record by scoring twice in a 6–0 win over Wolfsburg.[122] On 6 April 2019, in the 100th Bundesliga meeting between Bayern Munich and Dortmund, Lewandowski scored twice in a 5–0 win, with his first goal taking him to 200 goals in the league.[123][124]

Lewandowski finished the season as the Bundesliga's top goalscorer with 22 goals for the fourth time.[125] On 25 May 2019, he scored a brace as Bayern won RB Leipzig 3–0 in the 2019 DFB-Pokal Final. With his goals, he became the all-time top scorer in the German Cup finals with six, surpassing Gerd Müller on five.[126] Lewandowski finished the season with 40 goals in 47 matches in all competitions, reaching the 40-goal landmark for the fourth consecutive season, also winning his second domestic double with Bayern.[127]

On 12 August 2019, Lewandowski scored his first goal of the season when Bayern defeated Energie Cottbus 3–1 in the first round of the DFB-Pokal.[128] On 16 August 2019, Lewandowski scored two goals in the 2019–20 Bundesliga opener against Hertha Berlin. With his goals, Lewandowski set a Bundesliga record for scoring a goal in the season opener for the fifth year in a row.[129] On 24 August 2019, Lewandowski scored a hat-trick against Schalke at the Veltins Arena as Bayern won 3–0.[130] On 29 August 2019, Lewandowski extended his contract at Bayern until 2023.[131] On 18 September 2019, Lewandowski scored his 200th goal for Bayern in a 3–0 win against Serbian club Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League.[132] Later that month, after scoring his tenth goal of the campaign during a 3–2 win over SC Paderborn 07, he became the first player in Bundesliga history to achieve double figures for goals scored after the first six match rounds.[133] Lewandowski then became the first player in Bundesliga history to score in each of the opening nine, ten and eleven matches of a season, surpassing the record of eight set by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.[134][135][136] On 26 November 2019, Lewandowski scored 4 goals in under 15 minutes as Bayern defeated Red Star Belgrade 6–0 in their reverse fixture and clinched first place in their Champions League group, setting a new record for fastest time to score four goals in a Champions League match. He also became only the second player ever to score four goals in multiple Champions League matches.[137]

On 25 February 2020, Lewandowski equalled Cristiano Ronaldo's record of nine away goals in a season in Europe's top club competition. He did so by scoring a goal in a 3–0 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.[138] On 10 August 2020, Lewandowski scored a brace and provided two assists in a 4–1 win over Chelsea.[139] On 14 August, he scored one goal in Bayern's 8–2 trashing of Barcelona in the quarter-finals; hence, he had scored 14 goals across eight consecutive Champions League matches.[140] Lewandowski scored another goal, to be 15 goals in total, in his ninth consecutive Champions League match in Bayern's semifinal win against Lyon.[141] His European scoring streak ended when he failed to score a goal in Bayern's Champions League final match against Paris Saint-Germain on 23 August; nevertheless, Bayern defeated PSG 1–0, giving Lewandowski his first career Champions League title.[142] He also became the second player ever to win the European treble, while being the top scorer in all three competitions, repeating Johan Cruyff's achievement with AFC Ajax from the 1971–72 season, however, Lewandowski was the first to do so as the sole top scorer in all three competitions.[5][6] On 4 October 2020, he scored all four goals in a 4–3 win against Hertha BSC.[143] On 24 October, he scored a hat-trick in a 5–0 win against Eintracht Frankfurt, to become the first player in Bundesliga to score ten goals in only five matches.[144]

International career

Lewandowski made three appearances for Poland's U21 team, in friendly matches against England, Belarus and Finland.

His debut for the senior national team came on 10 September 2008, three weeks after his 20th birthday, against San Marino where he came on as a substitute and scored a goal in a 2–0 away win in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification.[145][146] Only Włodzimierz Lubański scored a goal on his debut for the national team at a younger age than Lewandowski, having been 16 at the time. Lewandowski scored another qualifying goal against the same team on 1 April 2009, in a 10–0 victory.[147]

 
Lewandowski playing for Poland against Hungary in November 2011

Playing in Warsaw in the opening match of the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament against Greece, Lewandowski scored the first goal of the competition after an assist from then Dortmund teammate Jakub Błaszczykowski and was named Man of the Match.[148] He played in all three games for Poland in the tournament, as the co-hosts crashed out of the group stage with two points earned.[149][150]

Lewandowski scored two penalties in the 5–0 win against San Marino on 26 March 2013 during the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, his first match as captain.[151] Later on in the campaign, on 6 September, he scored the equaliser against Montenegro in a 1–1 home draw.[152] Poland did not qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

 
Lewandowski playing for Poland at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

On 7 September 2014, in Poland's first UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier, away against Gibraltar, Lewandowski scored his first international hat-trick, netting four goals in a 7–0 win.[153] On 13 June 2015, he scored another hat-trick in Poland's 4–0 defeat of Georgia, with the three goals scored within the space of four minutes.[154] On 8 October, he scored twice in a 2–2 draw away to Scotland, opening and equalising with the last kick of the game to eliminate the hosts.[155] Three days later he headed the winner in a 2–1 victory against the Republic of Ireland, qualifying Poland for the tournament finals in France.[156] Lewandowski ended the campaign with 13 goals, a joint European Championships qualifying record with David Healy's tally for Northern Ireland in UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying.[157]

At UEFA Euro 2016 in France, Lewandowski did not have a shot on target until the last-16 match against Switzerland in Saint-Étienne.[158] Following the 1–1 draw, he scored his team's first attempt in the penalty shootout victory that sent them to the quarter-finals for the first time.[159] In the 100th second of the quarter-final against Portugal at the Stade Vélodrome, he finished Kamil Grosicki's cross to open another 1–1 draw, and again scored in the shootout although the Poles lost.[160] At the time of Poland's exit, Lewandowski had suffered more fouls than any other player in the tournament.[160]

On 5 October 2017, Lewandowski scored a hat-trick in a 6–1 win over Armenia to take his tally to 50 goals for Poland, surpassing the previous record of 48 goals set by Włodzimierz Lubański to become the all-time top scorer for Poland.[161][162] On 8 October 2017, Lewandowski scored a goal in a 4–2 win over to Montenegro taking his tally to 51 goals for Poland.[163] He finished the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign with 16 total goals, a record for a European World Cup qualifier.[163]

Lewandowski was called up to the 23-man Polish squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.[164] Lewandowski played every minute in all three matches, against Senegal, Colombia and Japan. Lewandowski did not score a goal as Poland did not qualify for the knockout phase.[165]

Style of play

Lewandowski is widely regarded as one of the best strikers in the world.[166][167][168][169][170] An accurate and efficient finisher with his head and both feet, Lewandowski is a prolific goalscorer. A well-rounded forward, he is said to possess almost all the necessary qualities of a traditional number nine: height, strength, balance, pace, intelligent movement and proficiency with both feet.[171] Although he primarily operates as a goal-poacher in the penalty area, due to his positional sense, ability to shoot first time, strength in the air, and powerful shot with either foot, his excellent technical skills, quick feet, proficient dribbling, vision, and physique also enable him to hold up the ball with his back to goal and either bring his teammates into play, or win fouls for his team in useful positions; despite often functioning as a lone-centre forward or as an out-and-out striker. He has also stood out for his work-rate and defensive contribution off the ball, and is capable of dropping into deeper roles on the pitch, in order to create space for teammates with his movement, or surprise defenders by making late and sudden attacking runs into the area. Lewandowski is an accurate penalty taker and has repeatedly shown coolness and composure on the spot. In addition to his playing ability, Lewandowski has also been praised for his outstanding work-ethic, fitness, mentality, and discipline, both on the pitch and in training, by pundits, players and managers.[172][173][174]

Outside football

Personal life

Lewandowski's father gave him the name Robert to make it easier for him when moving abroad as a professional footballer.[175] Lewandowski's father, Krzysztof (died in 2005),[176] was a Polish judo champion, and also played football for Hutnik Warsaw in the second division.[177] His mother, Iwona, is a former volleyball player for AZS Warszawa and later vice-president of Partyzant Leszno.[177] His sister, Milena, also plays volleyball and has represented the U21 national team.[177] He shares a surname with Gina Lewandowski, an American defender for Bayern's women's team from 2012–19, but is not known to be related to her.[178]

His wife, Anna Lewandowska, won the bronze medal at the 2009 Karate World Cup.[177] They married on 22 June 2013 in the Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Serock.[179] They have two daughters: Klara (born 4 May 2017)[180] and Laura (born 6 May 2020).[181]

Lewandowski is a practising Catholic.[182] He met Pope Francis in October 2014, when Bayern Munich visited Vatican City following a 7–1 win over A.S. Roma in the UEFA Champions League.[183]

In October 2017, the day after scoring to help Poland qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Lewandowski finished Bachelor of Physical Education (BPhEd) with coaching and management at the Academy of Sport Education in Warsaw, concluding a decade of studies.[184][185][186]

In addition to his native Polish, Lewandowski also speaks English and German.[187][188]

Philanthropy and business

Lewandowski and his wife, Anna, have supported, donated and raised money for various charitable organisations and for children throughout their career, including Children's Memorial Health Institute in Warsaw, for which they've raised more than 150,000 PLN during Anna's birthday party on 25 August 2018.[189] Lewandowski also donated 100,000 PLN for the treatment of Cyprian Gaweł, a three-year-old boy from Hel;[190] and helps raising funds for the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity each year, donating his personal items or private meetings that are sold at online auctions.[191][192][193]

In March 2014, he was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.[194]

In March 2020, Lewandowski and his wife, Anna, donated €1 million during the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic.[195]

Beside philanthropy, Lewandowski also invests primarily in startups, e-commerce and websites, mainly through Protos Venture Capital, a company of which he is a shareholder.[196] He also owns "Stor9_", an agency specialising in marketing communications.[197]

Sponsorship and media appearances

In 2013, Lewandowski signed a sponsorship deal with Nike. Lewandowski plays in Nike Hypervenom boots.[198]

Lewandowski featured on the cover of the Polish edition of EA Sports' FIFA 15 video game, alongside Lionel Messi.[199] Lewandowski's "X" goal celebration – arms crossed and index fingers pointing up – appears in FIFA 18.[200]

Career statistics

Club

As of 28 November 2020[19][201]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Cup Europe Other[nb 1] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Delta Warszawa 2004–05 IV liga 17 4 2 0 19 4
Total 17 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 19 4
Legia Warsaw II 2005–06 III liga 12 2 1 2 13 4
Total 12 2 1 2 0 0 0 0 13 4
Znicz Pruszków 2006–07 III liga 27 15 5 2 32 17
2007–08 II liga 32 21 2 0 34 21
Total 59 36 7 2 0 0 0 0 66 38
Lech Poznań 2008–09 Ekstraklasa 30 14 6 2 12 4 48 20
2009–10 28 18 1 0 4 2 1 1 34 21
Total 58 32 7 2 16 6 1 1 82 41
Borussia Dortmund 2010–11 Bundesliga 33 8 2 0 8 1 43 9
2011–12 34 22 6 7 6 1 1 0 47 30
2012–13 31 24 4 1 13 10 1 1 49 36
2013–14 33 20 5 2 9 6 1 0 48 28
Total 131 74 17 10 36 18 3 1 187 103
Bayern Munich 2014–15 Bundesliga 31 17 5 2 12 6 1 0 49 25
2015–16 32 30 6 3 12 9 1 0 51 42
2016–17 33 30 4 5 9 8 1 0 47 43
2017–18 30 29 6 6 11 5 1 1 48 41
2018–19 33 22 5 7 8 8 1 3 47 40
2019–20 31 34 5 6 10 15 1 0 47 55
2020–21 8 12 0 0 4 3 2 0 14 15
Total 198 174 31 29 66 54 8 4 303 261
Career total 475 322 65 45 118 78 12 6 670 451

International

As of 18 November 2020[202][203][204]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Poland 2008 4 2
2009 12 1
2010 13 6
2011 11 3
2012 10 2
2013 10 3
2014 6 5
2015 7 11
2016 12 8
2017 6 9
2018 11 4
2019 10 6
2020 4 2
Total 116 63

Honours

 
Robert Lewandowski during training, 2019

Lech Poznań[205]

Borussia Dortmund[205]

Bayern Munich

Individual

See also

References

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External links