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Brilliant start for Robert Lewandowski

Lech Poznan’s rookie forward Robert Lewandowski is the greatest discovery of the start of the new season in Poland.

The 20 year old striker joined Lech this summer from second division side Znicz Pruszkow. It’s his second attempt in the Ekstraklasa. He joined Legia Warsaw three years ago after playing for several local clubs, but never reached the first team in Poland’s capital. After spending a year in the reserve team, he was sold without regret to a small team in Warsaw’s metropolitan area, Znicz.

There the youngster created a very spectacular and effective duo with Bartosz Wisniewski. Lewandowski scored 15 times for Znicz, including a hat-trick in a match that assured Znicz promotion to the second division.

At the higher level he lost nothing of his ability. Despite his companion Wisniewski leaving Znicz in the winter break, he repeated his achievement with 21 goals. Znicz although, despite fighting to the very end, lost the promotion to richer teams like Slask Wroclaw, Lechia Gdansk and Arka Gdynia.

Lewandowski, with his goal-scoring skills, attracted top Polish teams. Media linked him with champions Wisla Krakow, Lech Poznan, Cracovia and, ironically, Legia Warsaw. The player chose Poznan’s “locomotive”, who represent Poland in this season’s UEFA Cup.

A qualifying match in this competition was Lewandowski’s debut in the team. In Kazakhstan he scored the winning goal coming on as a substitute. In his Ekstraklasa debut he also scored, but his team lost a home match. However, Lewandowski doesn’t seem to use up his ammunition – he had his hand, or leg, in Lech’s demolition of Grasshoppers with two goals and has scored three goals in four league games so far.

The youngster’s performance didn’t escape national coach Beenhakker’s notice. Lewandowski is called up for the World Cup qualifying matches against Slovenia and San Marino, which will be held in September.

Sun 31 August, 2008
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