The significance of former coach Jürgen Klopp in his career has been opened up by Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski, as well as highlighting his turning point as a footballer and what life is like at the Bundesliga Record Champions.
After scoring his 20th league goal in Bayern’s 3-2 loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 15, the 32-year-old, recently crowned as FIFA’s Best Men’s Player in the World, is on track for another record-breaking season and admits he owes a debt of gratitude to Klopp during their time together at Borussia Dortmund.
Lewandowski told The Player’s Tribune of the new Liverpool manager, “Jürgen was not only a father figure to me.” “He was like the ‘evil’ instructor as a coach. And in the best sense of the word, I mean that.
He didn’t content himself with letting you be a B student, you know? A+ students were wanted by Jürgen. He wouldn’t have wanted that for him. He wanted you to have it. He’s taught me so much. I wanted to do something quickly when I arrived in Dortmund: a good move, just one touch. Jürgen showed me to calm down, if needed, to take two touches.
It was completely against my will, but soon I had more goals to score. He challenged me when I had that down, to speed it up again. With one touch. BANG. BANG. Objective. To speed me up, he slowed me down. It sounds easy, but it was brilliant.
Between 2010 and 2014, the genius also gave the pair trophies together at Dortmund during their four seasons, with BVB winning the Bundesliga title in 2010/11 and 2011/12, also doing the double in the latter campaign.
The crucial point in his career, where he started his transformation from being a raw 22-year-old into the most feared striker on the planet, was also established in that season by Lewandowski.
“I was still struggling when the second season began,” he said. “I felt that Jürgen wanted something from me, too, but I didn’t exactly understand what it was. So I went to see him after a very poor loss to Marseille in the Champions League. I think we lost 3-0. I said, ‘Come on, Jürgen. We’ve got to talk. Tell me exactly what you’re expecting from me.’
I can’t remember everything he told me-my German was still not the best but we understood each other from the few words I knew and from his body language. We had a wonderful conversation.
I scored a hat trick three days later and assisted on another goal against Augsburg. We won 4-0, and for me, that was the turning point. It was a mental thing, some kind of hang-up.
There is no doubt that it was a landmark moment, standing in direct contrast with the ‘before’ and ‘after’.