Friends and family on Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski

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© Fotos: Fritz Beck

Robert Lewandowski has reached the very top. After the Champions League, he was also voted 'UEFA Men's Player of the Year'. How did he achieve that? FCB club magazine '51' spoke to family and friends and discovered another side to Lewy. Read excerpts of the interviews from the cover story here.

Early companions

Kamil Baczek (32) played alongside Lewy in the youth set-up at Varsovia Warszawa, *Marek Krzywicki (45) was his coach there. And Tomasz Chalas (32) was his teammate at the then third division side Znicz Pruszków.*

**What did you think when Lewy had the Champions League trophy in his hands?
Tomasz: "When he gave an interview to Polish television after the final, I cried tears of happiness. Really. I know the long path he has behind him and he so deserves this trophy, as he's worked so hard for it."
Marek: "I knew Robert would be a professional player one day. But I never thought he would go so far, not in my wildest dreams. I'm very proud of him."
Kamil: "This summer was the crowning achievement of his career. At the same time, I hope he wins a lot more trophies. Robert has shown you can make the impossible happen with hard work."

**Why 'impossible'?
Kamil: "You can't imagine how small and skinny he was as a child. Completely different from today. I think the first time we met was in a game. He was at Varsovia, I was at Salos Warsaw. You almost had to worry about something happening to him. But he was an outstanding player. He took on every opponent mercilessly. He was always able to rely on his legs."

**Do you recognise the little Robert from back then when you see him play today?
Marek: " A lot of his movements remind me of the little 'Bobek', as we used to call him back then."
Tomasz: "Today he's bigger, stronger, better in the air, two-footed -- now he even scores quite acceptable free kicks, which he wasn't able to do earlier at Znicz (he laughs). I like watching him play."

His wife Anna

“He’s never really 100 percent satisfied – even when he’s scored two goals. Then he’ll say he could have scored one or two more. [...] And his ambition is huge.”

Anna Lewandowska

Mrs Lewandowska, is it true that Robert always analyses his games with you?
"We've always done it like that. He calls me up after away games. He wants to know my opinion. I have a different perspective from him, but I also have a background in competitive sport and I studied sports. So, it's really like a sort of professional discussion between two athletes. He's never really 100 percent satisfied -- even when he's scored two goals. Then he'll say he could have scored one or two more. He has a truly clear view of himself. And his ambition is huge."

Did he also call you after winning the Champions League?
"Of course! He said: "We've done it! We've won! All of us together!" He meant the team but also our family and friends. Everybody who has supported him in his career. The Champions League was his big dream. And we were incredibly happy about it with him. But it was also a little sad because we weren't able to be there with him in Lisbon. That's why I said to him: 'You have to win the Champions League again.'"

You are a nutritional expert and considered to be a secret for success behind the athlete Robert. Can you reveal to us: How do you get to be as fit as he is?
"There are lots of little things that we started to change twelve years ago. For example, the quality of sleep: a good mattress, no blue light and the right food before going to sleep. Above all, it's the diet: We do without lactose, wheat flour, white sugar, fried food. We eat the dessert first or the carbohydrates and then protein, sometimes we eat more raw vegetables, sometimes less meat. And we regularly check Robert's blood to see what he needs. It's also important to eat slowly. That's not easy for either of us."

His sister Milena

“He’s become an even better footballer than he ever imagined.”

Milena Lewandowska-Miros

Mrs Lewandowska-Miros, what did Robert's bedroom look like?
"He had a lot of posters on the walls and the furniture was covered in football stickers. After he moved out, my mother had to give everything away because you couldn't get the stickers off."

Was he a quiet boy?
"Quite the opposite (she laughs)! He was always running around. He couldn't stand still or go slowly. Today I've got a five-year-old son and he's exactly the same. It's déjà vu."

Your father died when Robert was 16 years old. How much did that change him?
"Robert didn't talk much about his feelings back then. But I think he was more focused on becoming a footballer after that. Unfortunately, our father never saw him play as a professional footballer. I think he would have liked to have shown him that he'd achieved what he dreamed of as a child. He's even become a better footballer than he ever imagined."

You can read the complete story about Robert Lewandowski (in German) in the current issue of the FCB club magazine '51' (November 2020)


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