22nd May, 2012
With UEFA EURO 2012 less than three weeks away, Poland striker Robert Lewandowski is savouring the “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity of representing his country at a final tournament on home soil.
As the club season winds down across Europe and the competing coaches name their squads in advance of the 29 May deadline, excitement is building in the 16 countries taking part in the 14th continental finals. None more so than in Poland, where the Borussia Dortmund striker says a memorable time awaits the co-hosts’ players and supporters.
“For every player this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, a tournament like this in your country,” Lewandowski, a scorer of 22 goals in Dortmund’s Bundesliga title triumph, told UEFA.com. “I hope that for the Polish players and fans this creates unforgettable emotions and will be a great experience.”
With the honour of staging the finals also comes expectation, however, as Poland’s frontline striker concedes. “There are advantages and disadvantages,” the 23-year-old said. Having the fans and the entire country, including those in front of the television, behind us is an advantage, but the pressure and expectations will be great, so we have to prepare both physically and mentally.”
Lewandowski’s club-mate, Jakub Błaszczykowski, agrees, saying: “We’re in a good position because we’re playing at home. It might paralyse [players] or provide an extra stimulus, but, knowing our fans, I’m convinced they’ll stand by us.”
To hear the full interview with the Dortmund and Poland pair watch the video above.