Robert Lewandowski Profile
|Born||Aug 21, 1988|
Robert Lewandowski is like a fine wine, he gets better with age. After eight trophy-laden seasons with Bayern Munich, he is now on the goal hunt in Spain.
Robert Lewandowski is a Polish striker who currently plays for FC Barcelona. He is one of the most prolific goalscorers in the world, having scored over 500 goals for club and country.
Lewandowski is considered a national treasure in his native Poland and is also regarded as one of the Bundesliga's greatest ever players, having netted 344 goals in 375 matches for Bayern.
The Poland international has won numerous honours including the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and ten Bundesliga titles. The majority of these triumphs came while playing for Bayern Munich, who he joined in 2014 from bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund.
Apart from club honours, Lewandowski has also won a high number of individual accolades. The pinnacle came in the 2019/20 season when he claimed the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award, becoming the first Polish player to receive the prize.
The striker has also won a number of Golden Boots, not only domestically but also on the international stage.
Lewandowski was the top goalscorer in the Polish Ekstraklasa in 2009/10, seven times in the German Bundelsiga, the Champions League in 2019/20, the World Cup qualifiers in 2018, and the European Championship qualifiers in 2016.
He has also won the 2021 Ballon d'Or Striker of the Year, and the European Golden Shoe in 2021 and 2022.
Robert Lewandowski and Bayern Munich
Lewandowski joined Bayern Munich from Borussia Dortmund in 2014. The Bavarian club managed to acquire his services without the need to pay a transfer fee due to his contract expiring at the end of the 2013/14 season. He was worth around $46million at the time of the move.
The deal was agreed in January 2014, but Lewandowski was officially unveiled as a Bayern player six months later. He scored on his debut, which came during the club's pre-season tour of the United States, but his first competitive game for the Bavarian giants was a disappointing one as Bayern lost 2-0 to his former club in the Super Cup.
Lewandowski scored his first competitive goal for Bayern in his second Bundesliga game against Schalke 04. Two months later, he netted his first Champions League goal for the club during Bayern's 7-1 thrashing of AS Roma.
One month later, Lewandowski squared off against his former employers for a second time, gaining revenge for the Super Cup defeat by scoring a crucial goal in a 2-1 league victory.
The reverse fixture against Dortmund came in April when he also scored the winning goal in a slender 1-0 win. Bayern went on to lift the Bundesliga crown that year and the striker was named in the Bundesliga's Team of the Year for the third successive time.
The player's most memorable moment at Bayern came on September 22, 2015. Bayern were trailing Wolfsburg 1-0 when Lewandowski was introduced from the bench. The Pole then went on to set a Bundesliga record by scoring five goals in just eight minutes and 59 seconds. The achievement saw him receive four certificates from Guinness World Records.
Lewandowski has won the Bundesliga every season he has been a Bayern Munich player. Apart from his eight league titles, he has also won three German Cups, five German Super Cups, the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup.
He has won virtually every individual accolade a striker can win, with the exception of the Ballon d'Or. He came closest to taking the award in 2021 when he ranked second.
However, he did win the inaugural Ballon d'Or Striker of the Year in 2021, for his 59 goals in the calendar year.
In July 2022 with is contract in his final year, Robert Lewandowski brought an end to his eight year stint with the German giants and joined Barcelona for Â£42.5m.
An illustrious international career
Lewandowski is Poland's greatest ever goalscorer with over 70 goals to his name. He has also won the highest number of caps, having represented his country over 130 times.
The striker made his international debut on September 10, 2008, just three weeks after his 20th birthday. He came off the bench and scored in a 2-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying win over San Marino.
That goal made him the second youngest player to score on his debut for the Polish national side, second only to Wlodzimierz Lubanski, who scored on his debut at the age of 16.
Lewandowski and his Poland team-mates faced a huge disappointment at Euro 2012 when they failed to get out of the group stage despite co-hosting the competition.
Nevertheless, the team made up for it four years later as they reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 in France. Lewandowski failed to register a single shot on target during the three group stage games, but with the striker captaining the team, Poland progressed past Switzerland on penalties in the round of 16 and took on Portugal in the quarter-finals.
Lewandowski's opener early in the game was cancelled out by the eventual Euro 2016 champions. Portugal went on to beat Poland on penalties but Lewandowski did convert his spot-kick.
The striker set a new European record during qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup by scoring a total of 16 goals. Despite this, Lewandowski and Poland endured a hugely disappointing World Cup in Russia, bowing out at the group stage.
Lewandowski scored three goals during Poland's Euro 2020 campaign but could not prevent the Poles bowing out in the group stage after finishing bottom of their group.
Lewandowski was born in Warsaw and named Robert by his parents as they wanted to make it easier for him to move abroad to play soccer in the future.
His father Krzysztof came from a sporting background, having been a Polish judo champion and soccer player in the Polish second division. He passed away in 2005 while his son was just breaking into Legia Warsaw's reserve side.
Lewandowski's mother, Iwona, also came from a sporting background, having played high-level volleyball in Warsaw. His sister Milena, represented the Polish U-21 volleyball team.
He married his wife, Anna, in 2013 in the small Polish town of Serock. She also has a sporting pedigree, having won a bronze medal in the 2009 Karate World Cup.
The couple have two children Klara (2017) and Laura (2020).
In October 2017, Lewandowski graduated from Warsaw's School of Education in Sport with a Bachelor of Physical Education.
He also speaks two additional languages - German and English. Lewandowski is also a TikTok sensation with nearly 6 million followers on the popular social media platform.
Robert Lewandowski vs Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Lewandowski is often compared to other top strikers who have played in Europe - one being Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The two players have enjoyed stellar careers in both domestic and international soccer.
However, while Lewandowski has been with two major clubs over the last 10 years, Ibrahimovic has been more of a journeyman, having been at five different sides in the same space of time.
While Lewandowski has been busy winning German titles with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, Ibrahimovic has travelled around most of Europe's top leagues and won league titles in all of them with the exception of the Premier League.
The one piece of silverware that Lewandowski has over Ibrahimovic, though, is the Champions League. Despite playing for the likes of AC Milan, PSG, Barcelona, Inter, Juventus and Manchester United, Zlatan is yet to win Europe's elite competition.
Reported net worth
Lewandowski reportedly took a pay cut to join Barcelona, his four-year deal with the Catalan giants is believed to be worth £150k-a-week.
His wage plus numerous other endorsements mean that the Poland international has a reported net worth of around $85million.
The player donates a lot of money to charities. Lewandowski, alongside his wife, donated around $1million during the Coronavirus pandemic. He also aids the Children's Memorial Health Institution in Warsaw. On top of that, he is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
It was also recently announced that Lewandowski has invested his own capital in the food industry. The Poland international has put money into a fish restaurant based in the Masurian Lake District.
Lewandowski is a partner in the Protos Venture Capital fund which supports internet start-ups. He is also the co-owner of an investment company which he started with his colleague, Wojciech Stradowski.
In September 2021, Forbes published an article in which they listed the top-10 highest earnings for the 2021/22 season. Lewandowski has his own brand of clothing called RL9 this adds to his endorsement earnings from Nike, Huawei and Head & Shoulders, among others. During the 2021/22 season, Lewandowski will earn $35million.