Robert Lewandowski has just completed another goalscoring season with Bayern Munich, but he could be on the move this summer.
He enjoyed a remarkable 50-goal season in 2021/22 despite turning 34 in the summer, but now he’s looking to ply his trade elsewhere.
He is currently linked with Barcelona, Chelsea and Liverpool after confirming that ‘his era at Bayern is over’.
But Lewandowski’s career could have been so different – if it hadn’t been for a volcano…
Sam Allardyce’s quest for a striker when the Blackburn Rovers manager saw him roaming Europe in search of a goalscorer to boost their chances of Premier League survival in 2010.
While David Dunn and Morten Gamst Pedersen regularly created chances, Jason Roberts, Franco Di Santo, Nikola Kalinic and David Hoilett simply failed to deliver.
Head of scouting Martyn Glover recommended hitman Lech Poznan Lewandowski to Big Sam, who had scored 21 times in 34 games. Discussions took place, a fee of £4m was agreed and the deal was all but done.
However, volcanic ash that erupted from the Eyjafjallajokull mountain in Iceland blocked almost all flights from northern Europe, including Lewandowski’s flight to the UK to complete the deal.
Instead, Borussia Dortmund surged in the summer and Rovers had to kick themselves as Glover watched the Poland international become one of the continent’s deadliest strikers.
Lewandowski has reached the 40-goal mark in seven consecutive seasons and hopes to continue his remarkable form at a new club next season.
But the physical specimen you see in front of you wasn’t always in such a chiseled state. In 2006, he was released by Legia Warsaw (his hometown club) for being too weak.
Krzysztof Sikorski, one of his first coaches, remembers: “He was very thin. Her legs were like sticks and I was always afraid that others would break them.
His family has extraordinary physical attributes and athletic genes are spread all over; Lewandowski’s father, Krzysztof, was a Polish judo champion and an outstanding footballer. Her mother, Iwona, was a professional volleyball player. Her older sister, Milena, played competitive volleyball.
So how did the scrawny striker become the Polish powerhouse fans have grown accustomed to today?
Lewandowski married Karate World Cup bronze medalist Anna Stachurska in 2013. Ms. Lewandowski is a well-known sports nutritionist, with a websiteblog, books, DVDs and over 4.1 million Instagram followers.
In addition to cutting out cow’s milk and soy milk, fitness fanatics rarely drink alcohol and have massively reduced their intake of fatty and sugary foods.
THE TYPICAL ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI DIET
Created by fitness guru’s wife Anna, the Bayern Munich striker has all the ingredients for success
- Breakfast: Porridge
- Lunch: Spaghetti with vegetables, beet juice with fresh spices
- Snacks: Pancakes or brownies with matcha tea
- Having dinner: Fresh fish or meat
She said Image“The most important thing is training and nutrition. We abstain from lactose and wheat flour. This is quality food.
“Crepes, brownies, vegetable spaghetti, porridge or millet. We also like to eat high quality fish.
“Sometimes after training we drink beetroot juice with cinnamon or cayenne pepper. When we mix several foods at once, sometimes we don’t get it right.
“We feel bloated, have to loosen our pants. The mixture is too much for our body.
Tom Williams in Bleacher Report. wrote: “Lewandowski’s approach to nutrition and fitness has been so successful that at Dortmund he was nicknamed ‘The Body’ by his admiring teammates.”
Former Dortmund team-mate Nuri Sahin said: “Lewy has the most amazing body, it’s just pure muscle. This stuns the other players in the locker room.
In addition to striker-specific drills at Bayern, the striker also takes part in high-intensity training focused on explosive power.
Not only does he enjoy weightlifting and kickboxing with his wife, Lewandowski trains in his home gym.
“We have a gym at home and I use it on my days off, usually with my wife Anna,” he told an interviewer.
“Sometimes I do special exercises to work on my concentration, which is very important for a striker. And I need strength to face powerful defenders.
When Pep Guardiola ended his sabbatical from Barcelona and took over as Bayern manager, he was stunned to learn of Lewandowski’s physical and mental dedication to sport.
“He’s the most professional player I’ve ever met,” he said in 2016 according to AS.
“In his head he thinks about good nutrition, sleep and training: 24 hours a day. He’s always there, never hurt, because he’s focused on those things.
“He always knows what is important to be in the best condition. But I was always very, very happy with him, from the first moment.