Many were concerned about Robert Lewandowski’s ability to adapt to life at Barcelona after his extraordinary consistency over such a long period of time in the Bundesliga (opens in new tab).
His talent has never been in question, but switching to a new team and nation presents new difficulties, and even the greatest players often need some time to adjust.
Lewandowski, who has dominated La Liga with 12 goals in only 11 outings, hasn’t experienced that.
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In seven of his eight seasons at Bayern Munich(opens in new tab), he scored at least 40 goals in all competitions, and he already seems to be on track to do so again.
Fueled by Lewandowski’s impressive play, Barca has put a stressful and turbulent summer behind them to get off to a strong start under Xavi, at least domestically.
Concerns have been raised over their performance in the Champions League, as they placed last in their group and well behind Bayern Munich and Inter Milan(opens in new tab).
This resulted in a humiliating 3-0 loss to Bayern at home, who didn’t seem to be affected at all by Lewandowski’s departure.
The star signing Sadio Mane, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, and Benjamin Pavard all scored goals to give the German champions a comfortable win.
Lewandowski’s loss against his previous team was especially upsetting since it prompted Barcelona to tumble into the Europa League, which was devastating for him.
The 34-year-biggest old’s asset, though, is his mental fortitude, which allows him to tune out distractions from outside sources and consistently produce outstanding performances.
The Polish national team, where he has long served as captain, leader, and leading goal threat, expects the same of him.
Lewandowski has 76 goals in 134 international games going into his second World Cup, but he went scoreless in Russia four years ago.
In a group that includes Saudi Arabia, Mexico (opens in new tab), and Argentina, he will be eager to make amends this time around.
Lewandowski has a successful track record from the penalty spot for Poland, missing only one of his 12 efforts (opens in new tab).