Football

Lewandowski defied Polish mentality by winning FIFA Best Award

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“Kids from Poland are not supposed to be the best in the world. It’s just not supposed to happen.” the words of FIFA Best Men’s player of the year 2020 Robert Lewandowski on his episode with Players Tribune.

Born to PE teachers, a Polish judo champion and footballer father and professional volleyball mother. He was given the first name Robert, so that it would be easy for foreigners to pronounce when he becomes an international star and so it was [according to bundesliga.com].

On December 17, 2020, Robert Lewandowski deservedly was named the men’s player of the year at the FIFA the Best Award ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lewandowski with his FIFA Best Award trophy.

Lewandowski woke up the following morning and saw something strange lying next to him, he stared at his trophy for minutes, it was unbelievable  and until now he has not completely realised what he has achieved.

Lewandowski in bed with all his team and individual trophies in 2020.

He had a spectacular 2020 with treble winners Bayern Munich and he scored 55 goals in all competitions but the inferiority complex in Poland that no one is ever good enough and no one would make it to the top made him not believe it.

He started playing football at the age of five in his hometown Leszno with kids two years older than him. His father drove him on a four hour trip just so he could train because he had a dream and loves the game, something many parents around thought was crazy.

His father died due to a long illness when he was sixteen. Few months later, his contract with Legia Warsaw II expired and it was not renewed due to a serious knee injury. He then joined Znicz Pruszków in Polish third division who had wanted him earlier.

Four years on, offers began to come for him to leave Poland and he decided it was Germany with Borussia Dortmund under the tutelage of Jürgen Klopp who he described as a father figure and a very smart man.

He moved to Bayern Munich in 2014 on a free transfer and has worked with coaches like Jupp Heynckes, Pep Guardiola, Carlo Ancelotti, Niko Kovac and currently Hansi Flick.

He has been helped by many people close to him, the most important of them has been his wife, Anna. They met at university while he was playing for Znicz Pruszków. She studied nutrition and physical education and her knowledge is used to improve his diet and my mental approach to the game. 

Lewandowski, his wife, Anna and their daughter.

Through the rough patches and dark nights from the Polish village of Leszno, he has defied the Polish inferiority complex and is currently the best player in the world and is inspiring the next generation of Polish talents.

“Not for trophies. Not for money. Not for glory. 

“No. We play because we love it. 

“Thank you, Dad.”

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