Poland striker Robert
Lewandowski's 22 Bundesliga goals drove Borussia Dortmund to
their second straight league title last season and the Euro 2012
co-hosts are pinning their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals
firmly on him.
Muscular and strong in the air, Lewandowski was the third
top scorer in the German top flight, also bagging a hat-trick in
a 5-2 drubbing of Bayern Munich in the German Cup final.
At international level, his 14 goals in 42 games have led
the Poles, the lowest ranked side in this year's finals, on a
six-game unbeaten run since a 2-0 loss to Italy late last year.
Lewandowski and Dortmund team-mate Jakub Blaszczykowski also
scored the goals that took the Poles within a whisker of beating
Germany in a 2-2 draw last September.
"It is very important to us that we have a player like
Robert in the side," team spokesman Tomasz Rzasa told a news
conference ahead of the Euro 2012 opener against Greece in
Warsaw on Friday.
"But we have to underline that there are 11 players in a
team. This side will stand or fall by how well it defends
together and works together."
Lewandowski, still just 23, is painfully aware of the host
nation's expectations ahead of the tournament, the first to be
held behind the old "Iron Curtain" that once divided Europe.
"Advancing from the group is the minimum target, but I hope
we will be capable of more than that," he told Reuters earlier
Poland, the largest ex-communist European Union member since
2004, hopes a successful organisation of the tournament will
bring some international recognition and promote its economic
The country's football fans have had little to celebrate since
Poland finished third at the 1982 World Cup finals, but are
hopeful of progressing from a first round group including
Greece, Russia and the Czech Republic.
"The group is so balanced that any team may win over the
other, which only makes it more interesting. Nuances will decide
on who goes further," Lewandowski said.
"It's a rare thing to play a championship tournament in
one's own country. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for any
"And speaking from a wider perspective, Poland will benefit
from it as a country. Many stadiums and roads have been built,
other investments go on. Numerous football fans will come to see
this is a country worth visiting."
Lewandowski, who is valued at about 15 million euros, signed a new four-year contract at Dortmund in 2010,
but he also said he hopes to try his luck in England or Spain at
Barcelona's golden boy grabs the headlines again
England striker puts pen to paper on permanent deal
The new season is but six weeks away (in the Football League)
"Get on the weights," says expert
Who would you rather have playing for your club?
12 months out, the stars look to the World Cup
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Adidas Nitrocharge for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010