Robert Lewandowski went from scrawny Blackburn target to Champions League goal machine whose diet and workout stunned Pep Guardiola and earned him 'The Body' nickname

talksport.com, 9 August 2020, 11:25
Robert Lewandowski went from scrawny Blackburn target to Champions League goal machine whose diet and workout stunned Pep Guardiola and earned him
Another game, another couple of goals for Robert Lewandowski as he continues to strike fear into Champions League defences. Chelsea could not handle him as he netted twice in the second leg of their round of 16 tie which Bayern Munich won 7-1 on aggregate - and yet history could have been so different. Created by fitness guru wife Anna, the Bayern Munich striker has all the ingredients to succeed

Sam Allardyce's quest for a striker when manager of Blackburn Rovers saw him scour Europe for a goalscorer to boost their Premier League survival chances in 2010.

With David Dunn and Morten Gamst Pedersen creating chances on a regular basis, Jason Roberts, Franco Di Santo, Nikola Kalinic and David Hoilett were just not cutting it up top.

Head of recruitment Martyn Glover recommended Lech Poznan hitman Lewandowski to Big Sam, who had scored 21 times in 34 games. Discussions were had, a £4million fee was agreed and the deal was all but done.

However, the volcanic ash could which spurted from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull mountain grounded almost all flights from northern Europe, including Lewandowski's flight to the UK to agree the deal.

Instead, Borussia Dortmund pounced in the summer and Rovers were made to kick themselves as Glover (now Head of Recruitment at Southampton) watched as the Poland international developed into one of the most lethal strikers on the continent.

The 5ft 11ins striker scored his 44th goal of the season on Saturday during a 4-2 rout against Bayer Leverkusen.

Lewandowski has reached the 40-goal mark in five successive seasons, with 235 efforts recorded in total for Bayern across just 279 appearances. He has scored 30 goals in the Bundesliga, the third time he has managed the feat.

In 2006, he was released by Legia Warsaw (his home town club) for being too weak. Krzysztof Sikorski, one of his early coaches, recalls: "He was very thin. His legs were like sticks, and I was always scared that others would break them."

His family have extraordinary physical attributes and athletic genes are distributed throughout; Lewandowski's father, Krzysztof, was a Polish judo champion and soccer standout. His mother, Iwona, was a professional volleyball player. His older sister, Milena, played competitive volleyball.

So how did the scrawny striker develop into the Polish powerhouse fans have become accustomed to today?

Lewandowski married Anna Stachurska, a karate World Cup bronze medalist, in 2013. Mrs Lewandowski is a well-known sports nutritionist, with a web site, blog, books, DVDs and more than 1.6 million Instagram followers.

As well as cutting out cow's milk and soya milk, the fitness fanatics rarely imbibe alcohol and have massively reduced their consumption of fatty and sugary foods.

ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI'S TYPICAL DIET

Breakfast : Porridge

Lunch : Spaghetti with veg, beetroot juice with fresh spices

Snacks : Pancakes or brownies with matcha tea

Dinner : Fresh fish or meat

She told Bild : "The most important thing is training and nutrition. We refrain from lactose and wheat flour. It's about quality food.

"Pancakes, brownies, vegetable spaghetti, porridge or millet. We also like to eat high-quality fish.

"Sometimes after training we drink beetroot juice with cinnamon or cayenne pepper. When we mix many foods at once, sometimes we aren't doing the right thing.

"We feel bloated, have to loosen our trousers. The mix is ​​too much for our body."

Tom Williams in Bleacher Report. wrote: "So successful was Lewandowski's approach to nutrition and fitness that at Dortmund he was nicknamed 'The Body' by his admiring teammates."

Former Dortmund teammate Nuri Sahin said: "Lewy has the most incredible body, it's just pure muscles. It stuns the other players in the changing room."

As well as striker specific drills at Bayern, the forward also partakes in high-intensity workouts which focused on explosive power.

Not only does he enjoy weightlifting and kickboxing with his wife, Lewandowski works out at his home gym.

"We've got a gym at home and I use it on my days off, usually with my wife Anna," he told an interviewer.

"Sometimes I do special exercises to work on my concentration, which is very important for a striker. And I need strength in order to compete against powerful defenders."

When Pep Guardiola ended his sabbatical from Barcelona and took the Bayern job, he was stunned to learn of Lewandowski's physical and mental dedication to the sport.

View this post on Instagram

Remember, each success is the sum of workouts repeated each day. Don't stop!

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