Robert Lewandowski, after a stunning Bundesliga season, is all ready to take Poland to newer heights at Euro 2020. This club season, Lewandowski broke Gerd Mueller’s 40-year-old record by scoring the most number of goals in a single season.
Mueller’s record was 40 goals and Lewandowski took his tally to 41 in just 29 games to get the envious record to his name. Lewandowski also helped Bayern Munich win their ninth consecutive Bundesliga title and with that confidence and shape, he has taken on the national duty.
In a clip that made it to social media, Lewandowski smashed a fan’s phone while taking a curling shot in a training session. In the clip, the fan can be seen standing behind the goal post and his pin-point shot hit the phone.
Poland coach Paulo Sousa, who was surprisingly appointed to lead the team in January, needs to set up his players to get the best from Lewandowski, while also considering his backup options in case his captain is absent.
Sousa is a former Portugal midfielder going into his first major tournament as a national team coach, and he has already seen what can happen if Lewandowski is missing from the lineup.
The skillful striker injured his knee in Poland’s 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over Andorra on March 28. Without him in the lineup, Poland then lost its next game to England 2-1.
Sousa’s predecessor, Jerzy Brzeczek, was fired after failing to get the best from Poland’s greatest asset. Poland finished with two losses and two draws in a Nations League group with Portugal and Italy, and Brzeczek’s cautious team style was slammed as “frightened” by Polish soccer federation president Zbigniew Boniek.
Adam Nawalka, who had been in charge of the team for five years before stepping down after the 2018 World Cup, had fared better with a system set up to benefit Lewandowski.
Sousa looks to do the same and has already drastically altered Brzeczek’s set up for a more attacking focus, starting with three at the back.
Robert will be supported up front by Arkadiusz Milik, who spent last season at Marseille on loan from Napoli, but Hertha Berlin forward Krzysztof Piatek is out of the tournament with an ankle injury.
Other options in attack include Dawid Kownacki of Fortuna Düsseldorf, Karol Swiderski of PAOK Thessaloniki and Jakub Swierczok of Piast Gliwice — a surprise inclusion despite a fine season for the Polish club. None come close to the caliber of Lewandowski, however.
Poland will open against Slovakia in St. Petersburg on June 14 and then take on Spain in Seville on June 19 before returning to Russia to face Sweden four days later.