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Poles confident before kick-off

Lewandowski: 'I'm feeling very good'

EURO 2016 kicks off on Friday evening! Hosts France and underdogs Romania open the tournament in Paris at 21.00 CET. Bayern's Kingsley Coman will already be on duty, whereas the Germany internationals and Robert Lewandowski still have to wait. Lewy and his Polish team-mates will open Germany's Group C against Northern Ireland in Nice on Sunday at 18.00 CET.

“We want to win the first match straightaway, but we know it's not going to be so easy,” Lewandowski told FCB.tv, who visited Bayern's top striker at the La Baule team base on the Atlantic seaboard. The 27-year-old, who likes to play golf between the training sessions, seemed relaxed, serene and confident. “I'm feeling very good. I took a breather in the final friendly so I'll be fit against Northern Ireland. We want to make a good start to the tournament.”

High expectations in Poland

However, Germany's second group opponents have to deal with a few problems. The expectations of their compatriots could not be higher as the Poles made a great impression over the course of their qualifying campaign. With 33 goals Adam Nawalka's troops were the most goal-hungry side in the qualifiers, and they even downed world champions Germany 2-0 in Warsaw. “It's quite good that it's calm at our team base. At home in Poland the people are very euphoric,” Lewandowski explained.

Injury problems are a more serious issue. Key player Kamil Grosicki is recovering from an ankle injury. It remains to be seen whether Stade Rennes' lightning-quick winger will be fit in time. However, Lewandowski is refusing to lament the situation: “Even problems won't stop us, they're only a challenge for us. We'll go serenely about our business.”

The Poland captain hopes the group stage will not mark the end of his country's involvement: “Everything's possible,”he said, even though he bills the Germans as top favourites: “Not only to win the group, but also the whole tournament. But with a little luck we have a chance.” And perhaps Lewandowski's great dream will come true: “I hope both teams advance and meet again in the final.”

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