Dortmund: Robert Lewandowski scored all four of Borussia Dortmund’s goals as they hammered Real Madrid 4-1 on Wednesday night. But who is he?
Poland’s star striker has scored a goal every three games for his country but is setting such high standards for his club, Borussia Dortmund, that his international performances have disappointed in comparison.
However, if Poland fans find themselves questioning the contribution of one of their most talented players, Dortmund’s fans have felt no compulsion to issue any complaints. Last season he scored an incredible 27 goals as Dortmund stormed to a league and cup double, which resulted in him being named the 2012 Bundesliga Player of the Year.
And this year he has gone even better, scoring 35 goals in 44 appearances for club and country — including the four he netted against Jose Mourinho’s men.
He has become the first player in the history of European competition to score four goals in a match against Real. He is also now, say coaches, far more than just a goalscorer. He is also capable of filling the ‘No 10’ role, dropping deeper and instigating plays. He has even added heading ability to his repertoire to become a far more complete player. It’s no wonder Manchester United and Bayern Munich are clambering for his signature.
Robert is out of contract at the end of next season and has so far refused to commit to a new deal, meaning Dortmund must now consider whether to cash in at the end of the season or lose him for nothing in 2014.
Speculation in Germany has suggested Bayern are leading the race to sign Lewandowski and pair him up once again with Mario Gotze, Dortmund's Germany playmaker who this week agreed a summer move south after Bayern met his £31 million release clause.
Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes' agent even claimed this week that Lewandowski had an agreement in place with the Bundesliga champions but Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp is willing to play the waiting game.
“Robert has a contract until 2014 and there is no exit clause like with Mario Goetze,” said club boss Hans-Joachim Watzke.
What many don't know is that he could be playing in England now. Steve Archibald has claimed he offered Lewandowski, then playing at Lech Poznan, to Tottenham Hotspur.
And during his Blackburn Rovers days, Sam Allardyce invited Lewandowski from Lech Poznan for a trial after being quoted £4 million. Lewandowski then got stranded by that volcanic ash cloud, never came over and went to Dortmund instead.