Why is this Champions League an obsession for Lewandowski and Neymar?

Alejandro Panfil - @alepanfil

Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich Polish Centre-Forward at 32 years old, is living one of the best moments in his career, after showing an extraordinary regularity during many seasons and being the main striker of two of the biggest clubs in Germany.

In Poland, he played for Znicz Pruszkow and Lech Poznan (145 games and 78 goals). Afterwards, he landed in German soccer and, even though he has been closely followed for more than 10 years by the best teams in Europe (i.e. Real Madrid), he’s preferred to stay in the Bundesliga. There, he’s happy, scorer and winner: he’s won 6 leagues (2 with Dortmund and 6 with Bayern), 4 German Cups (1 in Dortmund and 3 with Bayern) 4 German Super Cup (1 for Dortmund and 3 for Bayern) and was 5 times best German scorer. In total, he’s played 475 games and scored 349 goals.  

In addition, he’s the captain of his National team. With Poland, he’s played 2 Europe Championships (2012 and 2016), the World Cup Russia 2018 and he’s the top scorer with 61 goals in 112 games.

With few chances of winning a major tournament with his national team, Lewandowski’s holy-grail is the Champions League – final he’ll be playing this Sunday, 23th august, 2020-. He became really close in 2013, wearing the jersey of Borussia Dortmund, but unfortunately for him and that extraordinary team coached by Jürgen Klopp, Jupp Heynckes’ Bayern Munich won 2-1 and raised the trophy. Since then, Lewandowski has been aiming for—without success—the most important club trophy in the world.  

Even though it might look easy for Bayern to reach the European finals, it’s always a struggle. Every year, the German club, who won its 5th and last Champions League in 2013, has to face strong opponents fighting for the same objective. Proof of that is that in the last seven seasons, the trophy was three times handed to Real Madrid, one to Barcelona and one to Liverpool. For Lewandowski, a player who needs this kind of titles to have a chance of fighting for individual awards like Golden Ball, this Champions League is an obsession. Even in this unusual format due to the 2020 Covid-19 crisis.

This final will be no less a fight than any previous ones especially when facing an eternal contender for the title with Neymar on its squad, who’s as obsessed with the Champions League as Lewandowski.  Even though he already won this tournament in 2015 with a fantastic team in Barcelona FC, he feels himself in debt with a club that paid 222 million Euros for his transfer. Consequently, he needs to win this trophy with Paris Saint Germain to prove he was worth it. He wants to demonstrate his leadership and his professionalism and that the ones who have questioned his personal life and his commitment to PSG were talking nonsense.

For reasons that remain the object of speculation, since Neymar left Barça to be the main star in a millionaire team, he hasn’t been able to play at the top his game. Therefore, he’s been under a lot of pressure, obviously, but this doesn’t mean his career is over.

On the contrary, Neymar Junior has a fantastic profile as a player. He’s won everything except for the World Cup with Brazil: 1 Brazil Cup, 1 Copa Libertadores and 1 Recopa Sudamericana with Santos, 2 Spanish Leagues, 3 Copa del Rey and 1 Spanish Super Cup, 1 Champions League and 1 World Cup Clubs with Barcelona, 3 Ligue 1, 2 Coupe de France, 2 Cup of French League and 1 Trophée des Champions with Paris Saint Germain. With Brazil National Team, he won the Confederations Cup 2013 and the Olympic gold medal in Rio 2016.  In total, Ney has played 610 games as a professional and scored 380 goals.

Despite having won all of the above, the current Champions League in Lisbon is not a mere addition to his trophy case. With his big friend Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo out of the competition and every year closer to their retirement, Neymar feels this is a big opportunity to win the Champions League and take a major step to be considered in the short term the best player in the world and start a new reign in the soccer world.

In the end, the Champions League is always a European club’s aim, but for these two players, Lewandowski and Neymar, this tournament is an obsession. Robert would be able to crown a great career; Ney would take a great step towards the soccer throne.

So, who do you think will be the winner?

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

Shop now

You can use this element to add a quote, content...