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Lewandowski on Klopp: “He taught me so much”

Robert Lewandowski
Foto: imago images

The Bayern Munich striker has transformed into the best forward on the planet and he owes it all to the current Liverpool boss.

The Polish international has nothing negative to say about his time with Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund and went on to say that it was the current Anfield boss who set him on the path to becoming what he is today.

Lewandowski moved to Dortmund in 2010 from Lech Poznan and the start to his Bundesliga career did not get off to the best start. Deployed in the No. 10 role during games and Klopp’s training methods were hard to come to grips with for the striker.

After a defeat in the Champions League to Marseille in 2011, the striker had a stern talking to his boss to find out exactly what he wanted from him. After the talk, Lewandowski got a handle on Klopp’s instructions and he never looked back as he won a second Bundesliga medal before he moved to the German giants.

Speaking to the Players’ Tribune, Lewandowksi had nothing by admiration for his former manager.

“Jurgen was not only a father figure to me. As a coach, he was like the “bad” teacher. And I mean that in the best sense of the word.

“Let me explain. Think back to you when you were in school. Which teacher do you remember the most? Not the one who made life easy for you and never expected anything from you. No, no, no.

You remember the bad teacher, the one who was strict with you. The one who put pressure on you and did everything to get the best out of you. That’s the teacher who made you better, right? And Jurgen was like that.

“He was not content to let you be a B student, you know? Jurgen wanted A+ students. He didn’t want it for him. He wanted it for you.

“He taught me so much. When I arrived at Dortmund, I wanted to do everything quickly: strong pass, one touch only. Jurgen showed me to calm down – to take two touches if necessary.

“It was totally against my nature, but soon I was scoring more goals.

“When I had that down, he challenged me to speed it up again. One touch. BANG. Goal. He slowed me down to speed me up. It sounds simple, but it was genius, really.”

His time at Dortmund and now at Bayern Munich have seen him go from strength to strength and he is on track to break Gerd Muller’s record of 40 goals in a season, should he keep his current pace going.

His form last season as Bayern won a historic treble and that led him to be named the Best FIFA Men’s Player for 2020, and given his current form, he might just win the award again.

Adam Schultz
Sports writer. Cover Arsenal and Bayern Munich, lucky to be able to do what I love as a career.