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Friday, July 19, 2024

Poland’s Man in Qatar: Robert Lewandowski

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There have been few more celebrated players in the history of Polish football than Robert Lewandowski. The striker has been named Polish Sports Personality of the Year on three occasions, but his influence on the national side looks to be nearing its end following the 2022 World Cup.

However, his legacy of being one of the finest strikers in the history of football remains intact, while few Polish stars could boast enjoying a better career than Lewandowski. But, how did he perform at the World Cup, and what factors ensure that he will be forever remembered as one of the best Polish footballers of all time?

Lewandowski’s 2022 World Cup

Lewandowski potentially played in his final World Cup for his nation in Qatar, as the striker will be 38 by the time the next edition of the tournament gets underway. After getting a lack of service at the 2018 edition, there was pressure on the forward to lead his side into the next round of the competition in 2022.

Surprisingly, going into the competition in Qatar, the striker failed to score at the major tournament. That finally changed in the latest edition of the event, as Lewandowski scored twice in the four games that he played. He finally scored his first goal at the event in the second group stage match against Saudi Arabia. There were fears that a first World Cup goal was never going to come after he missed a penalty in Poland’s opening night match against Mexico.

However, as it has been throughout his international career, Lewandowski didn’t have the same service that he does at the club level, and he couldn’t guide Poland into the latter stages. Poland were clear underdogs in the betting with jouerenlignefr.org before their showdown with France in the round of 16, and despite falling to a 3-1 loss, Lewandowski scored a late consolation for his national side.

Barcelona Success

After eight seasons with Bayern Munich, Lewandowski called time on his stay in the Bundesliga last summer, citing a new challenge behind his reasoning. The striker only had eyes for Barcelona throughout the summer window, and his wish for a move to the Nou Camp finally came true as Bayern allowed their star forward to leave.

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Lewandowski’s excellent performances have continued since swapping Germany for Spain, and he has already scored 22 goals in just 23 games for the Catalonian giants. He has been a key player behind Barcelona’s resurgence in the league this term, as he has scored 13 in La Liga, but his five goals in five games in the Champions League were in vain as the Spanish giants dropped into the Europa League for the second straight season.

2022-23 Targets

Lewandowski has already picked up a first honour with Barcelona following his transfer, as he scored in the club’s 3-1 win over Real Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana final. However, it’s likely that his stay in Catalonia will be judged on Barcelona’s performances in the major tournaments. Following their departure from the Champions League, extra pressure will be on the club to win the La Liga title this term.

The Polish striker’s performances in the league have been excellent to this point, and that has enabled Barcelona to open up a three-point advantage over Real Madrid as we edge toward the halfway stage of the campaign. Barcelona also remain in contention for the Copa del Rey, while they also face a stern test in the Europa League, as they come up against Manchester United in the playoff round in February.

Domestic success in Spain will be the main goal for Barcelona between now and the end of the season, with La Liga success likely to be their biggest target to end Real Madrid’s dominance on the top prize. However, should Lewandowski’s scoring run continue, it could be hard to bet against the Catalonian giants winning the first Spanish top-flight crown since the 2018-19 season.

 Conclusion: Lewandowski’s Legacy

The 2022 World Cup may have been the final time that we see Lewandowski representing his nation at the prestigious tournament, but his legacy among Poles remains intact. He will go down as one of the all-time great strikers for the nation, which is evident as he holds the all-time scoring record for Poland.

However, he will be looking for one final tournament run with his nation, as the Poles prepare for the 2024 European Championships in Germany. This could be the final tournament we see the striker representing his nation.

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