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Exclusive interview

Lewandowski: The best is still to come

Robert Lewandowski chalked up 25 goals in his first season with Bayern, 17 in the Bundesliga, six in the Champions League and two in the DFB Cup. It was a very good haul, but the Poland international is far from sated: “I can and will get even better this season, I’m certain of that,” the striker exclusively told The 26-year-old also discussed the forthcoming German Supercup showdown with Wolfsburg and his first impressions of Arturo Vidal. Robert, are you missing your protective mask?
Robert Lewandowski:
(laughs) Definitely not. I’m glad I’m back to having an unrestricted view when playing. I hope I don’t have to go through anything like that again. It was a tough period. I wasn’t feeling any pain, but I couldn’t have played without the mask. It would have been very, very dangerous.

Does it occupy a special place in your collection at home?
No, I’m going to have it auctioned off for a good cause.

You’ve been back in training for two and a half weeks or so. Are you completely fit again?
Naturally I’m not yet at 100 percent, but I’m thrilled it’s starting again for real with the Supercup. I do like a short preseason (grins). I didn’t lose much fitness on my three-week vacation. I’m ready and my batteries are full.

Are you happy with the way preseason has gone?
I have a good feeling. Everyone’s really up for it in training and we’re getting stuck in. We all know we face a fierce battle for places and none of us can rest on our laurels. The trip to China was demanding, but it was ideal because we played our friendlies against top international opposition.

Your last trip to Wolfsburg in January ended in a 4-1 defeat. What do Bayern have to do better this time?
Everything! We had a really bad day back then. We have to make far fewer mistakes this time. We want the first trophy of the season.

Last season, Wolfsburg won the cup and finished runners-up in the league. Will they be just as good this term?
I think they could be even stronger if they can keep their squad together. We can’t afford any major weaknesses this season. Borussia Dortmund will be back up there at the top too.

What are your first impressions of Arturo Vidal?
I can’t say a lot just yet, and he needs to settle in first. But I’m delighted he’s on my team now and not facing us as an opponent – as a striker you never enjoy it against players like him (grins). Arturo will definitely make us stronger. He’s a superb player, both in defence and attack.

This will be your second season with FC Bayern. Have the fans already seen the best of Robert Lewandowski?
I don’t believe so. I can and will get even better this season, I’m certain of that. It’s not always easy of course as there are so many factors involved. It’s vital we play well as a team. That’s the most important thing. It would be useless to me personally if I was to finish top scorer but we only come second in the Bundesliga and go out of the Champions League in the last sixteen.