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

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


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.

Lewandowski was too much for Chelsea to handle

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Lewandowski was too much for Chelsea to handle

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.

Robert Lewandowski is one of the most deadly strikers in the world

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Robert Lewandowski is one of the most deadly strikers in the world

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.

The Poland international was not always a physical specimen

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The Poland international was not always a physical specimen

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?

Jurgen Klopp played a huge part in Lewandowski’s development

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Jurgen Klopp played a huge part in Lewandowski’s development

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

Created by fitness guru wife Anna, the Bayern Munich striker has all the ingredients to succeed

  • 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.”

Anna Lewondowska is a fitness guru and helps her husband stay on track

@annalewandowskahpba

Anna Lewondowska is a fitness guru and helps her husband stay on track

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.

Lewandowski trains and eats like a machine in order to fuel his body

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Lewandowski trains and eats like a machine in order to fuel his body

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.

“He is the most professional player I have ever met,’ he said in 2016 according to ​AS.

“In his head, he thinks about the right food, sleep and training: 24 hours a day. He is always there, never injured, because he focuses on these things.

“He always knows what is important to be in the best condition. But I was always very, very pleased with him, from the first moment.”

Success and physical prowess help drive the Lewandowski’s

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Success and physical prowess help drive the Lewandowski’s

With a contract in Bavaria lasting until 2023, the German champions have complete faith that Lewandowski will still be a prime centre forward, breaking their usual stance on contract extensions for players over 30 years old.

He has played 30 or more games per season in the Bundesliga in the past decade – a record only beaten by a one other player, a goalkeeper.

And perhaps the most crucial reason for this unwavering consistency is his approach to getting rest periods, including hiring a sleeping coach.

Resting is crucial if you want to look as good as Robert Lewandowski

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Resting is crucial if you want to look as good as Robert Lewandowski

Bayern Munich celebrate Robert Lewandowski’s incredible five goals in nine minutes during Bundesliga game against Wolfsburg

“There were two or three sessions where we met,” he told Sport Bid. “It goes over some details as to how I can regenerate better.

“For example, that there is no source of light in the room at all. We even discussed in which position I sleep best.

“Since I’m right-handed and my right foot is stronger, it’s better for me to sleep on my left side. I’m trying to put that into practice, but it’s obviously hard to implement it one-to-one.”





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