Polish striker Robert Lewandowski spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live about the day when he met his idol Thierry Henry and how he’s grown as a striker over the years.
French striker Thierry Henry is probably one of the biggest inspirations for many strikers in Europe today, this is the case of Polish striker Robert Lewandowski and he just revealed the day he met the Arsenal legend.
The Bayern Munich star is arguably one of the world’s best strikers today, he has been scoring more than 30 goals per season in the last eight consecutive years and he has always been desired by some of the biggest clubs in the world.
But Lewandowski wasn’t always considered even a player who was good enough to perform professionally, there was a time when he was still a teenager that really tested his courage and he nearly dropped his dream of becoming a football player after getting rejected by several managers.
During his upbringing as a striker, Lewandowski always looked up to Thierry Henry as his best example, he never missed a match from the French striker during his Arsenal and FC Barcelona eras.
They say that you must never meet your heroes, but Lewandowski didn’t hesitate to greet him when the two met at the 2014 MLS All-Star game to which Bayern Munich was invited when Henry still played for the New York Red Bulls.
Robert Lewandowski: Bayern Munich star on Thierry Henry, Jurgen Klopp and early rejection – BBC Sport https://t.co/bsXN4vPLJO
— Bayern Munich (@BayernMunich360) March 7, 2019
“Growing up my dream was to play in the big stadiums with 80,000 fans but when I was young in Poland, we did not have any top players. I knew I could not just think about my country – I had to think bigger,” said Lewandowski during an interview with Spanish journalist Guillem Balague for BBC Radio 5 Live.
“I looked at the best player in the world and thought, why can a player from Poland not be one of the best in the world?”
“When I was six, I remember Roberto Baggio at the 1994 World Cup. When I was between 10 and 14, Alessandro del Piero was the best player for me. Then my idol was Thierry Henry. He was amazing – it was not just how he scored the goals but what he did for the team.”
“When he was at Arsenal, I remember how easily he scored goals from different situations. He could score from the left side into the far corner with his right foot. It was so easy for him – I wanted to score a lot of goals too and I could learn from him.”
“I wanted to be the same player like that, but to be Robert Lewandowski. I could take some aspects from one or two of the players and be like my idol. I remember when I met Henry, I was like ‘wow, I met my childhood idol’. Now he wants my jersey and I think, ‘amazing’. “I believe that dreams come true.”
For a player like Robert Lewandowski, scoring goals is an everyday business but the night that he scored five goals in nine minutes against Wolfsburg back in 2015, is a day that will remain in his memory for the rest of his life.
The fun part of this is that Robert wasn’t happy for starting the game on the bench, he was angry because Pep Guardiola decided to leave him there and Lewandowski came in during the second half to produce that ridiculous display of talent that even surpassed Lionel Messi’s feat in the Champions League three years earlier.
“I was injured from the Champions League game previously and angry I did not play from the start. I was on the bench, but the five goals in nine minutes will stay with me all my life. I never thought I could do that.”
“My family and friends were at the game and I took the ball home afterwards and we talked about the game – and I didn’t remember what I did. Two, three months later at Christmas, I was able to understand what I did. At the time I had to focus on the next game, and we were on fire. I had to stay focused.”
Robert Lewandowski 💬: "¿Mi ídolo de la infancia? Thierry Henry. Era asombroso. No sólo por los goles que anotaba, sino por todo lo que le aportaba a sus equipos". pic.twitter.com/yBe9EqLlna
— Portal Fútbol (@PortalFutboI) March 8, 2019
What do you think about Robert Lewandowski’s experience of meeting his idol Thierry Henry? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.