Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich and Poland is one of the most prolific strikers in the world game. For three straight campaigns, Lewandowski has broken the 40-goal barrier in club football.
The striker has been just as prolific in the international game, scoring 16 goals in World Cup qualifying, which is the highest tally of goals scored by any individual player in European qualifying.
During the qualifying for World Cup 2018, Lewandowski became his country’s top scorer, as the 29-year-old has now scored 53 goals for his country in 93 games for the Red and Whites. This summer the striker has a chance to show just how prolific he can be, as his national team have qualified for their first World Cup finals since 2006.
Struggled at European Championships
The last time Poland qualified for a World Cup finals was two years before Lewandowski made his international debut. However, the Poles have qualified for the last two European Championships, with Lewandowski in their squad.
However, the prolific marksman seems to lose his aim at both tournaments. In fact, Lewandowski has scored just one tournament goal. His only tournament goal came in Poland’s first game back in 2012.
Two years ago in Euro 2016, he failed to even hit a shot on target until the knockout stages and a clash with Switzerland. It is fair to say he has struggled to make an impact on the international stage.
Poland needs him to fire
Poland has a solid group and team heading to Russia. However, Lewandowski is by far their most high profile and talented player. The team look to the striker for inspiration and he has the quality to deliver too.
His 16 goals in qualifying were vital in Adam Nawalka’s team’s qualification campaign. The striker’s goals have in fact been crucial to his national team for close to a decade.
If Lewandowski is on form, Poland will always have a chance of recording a victory and progressing at the tournament. However, if the Bayern Munich star struggles, then the Eastern European team could struggle for goals.
Poland in an open group
On paper, Poland’s Group H also involving Colombia, Senegal and Japan is by far the most open group in Russia. With no European superpower in the group, every team will see qualification for the knockout rounds as a realistic aim.
All four sides have standout players in their teams. However, none have a forward as prolific as Lewandowski in the last few seasons. Colombia have Monaco striker Radamel Falcao in their ranks, who has not quite hit the same heights as his younger years in recent seasons in front of goal.
Arguably Senegal’s biggest star is Liverpool winger Sadio Mane, who while a top player is not a striker or prolific. The Japanese star players are playmaker Shinji Kagawa and Leicester’s Shinji Okazaki, again neither are prolific.
Lewandowski’s presence in the Poland team could mean the difference between success and failure for the Red and Whites in Russia.
Will Lewandowski find his scoring touch at this summer’s World Cup?