Robert Lewandowski: how a volcano changed his career in the Bundesliga

One of the best forwards to ever play the game, Robert Lewandowski has had a career that many could only ever dream of.

Born in Warsaw, Poland, the 32-year-old forward seems to get better by each passing year. Like a fine wine, the Polish international keeps on setting, and breaking, every record within his reach at club level, as well as for the national team. Recently the Bayern Munich striker equaled Gerd Muller’s scoring record in the Bundesliga after bagging his fortieth goal of the season. With one match still to play in the 2020-21 Bundesliga season, he might not be done just yet, and could very well break the record for good.

But things could have been very different in the life of Lewandowski, had it not been for a plot twist from mother nature.


In 2010, Sam Allardyce’s Blackburn Rovers were in desperate need of a goal-scorer. Blackburn were floundering in the bottom half of the league table, with relegation on the cards if their strikers continued to struggle to score. as a result of the very poor conversion rate of his forwards. With Big Sam keen to convert more chances, he turned to the transfer market in search of a new forward.

After communicating with the club’s Head of Recruitment – Martyn Glover, Martyn made the arrangements to sign a young forward who had netted 21 times in 34 games for Polish side Lech Poznan that season. Recognized for his talented movement inside of the box and Midas touch in front of goal, the club hoped that Lewandowski could be their next Alan Shearer. They scouted the striker several times, sat down with him and even outlined a proposal that would see him join the Rovers.

However, just as Lewy was due to fly to the UK, all flights were cancelled due to a volcanic ash cloud. Blackburn chairman John Williams was also getting cold feet, and worried that Poland wasn’t famous for producing prolific scorers. The £3m-£4m fee was seen as a gamble that Williams was nervous about enacting. With his flight to England cancelled, BVB club legend Lukasz Piszczek reportedly swooped in to help Robert Lewandowski join Borussia Dortmund, for the exact same fee. It sounds crazy to say, but for Blackburn Rovers, Robert Lewandowski is the one that got away.


After signing for German giants Borussia Dortmund, Lewandowski found the back of the net 106 times and led his team to a UEFA Champions League Final in 2012. His performances caught the eye of Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League winners Bayern Munich, and the Pole let his contract run down at Dortmund to force a move to the Bavarian club. Lewandowski signed for Bayern on a free transfer, and has now scored over 300 goals for the Bavarian club. With a mix of clutch and brilliance, moments like scoring 5 goals in 9 minutes and his recent equaling of Gerd Muller’s record standout as some of his best moments. At 32-years-old, we must remember that Lewandowski is still not done, and will look to break all the records he can before his career at Bayern is over. However, Lewandowski’s career could have gone very differently had a volcano not stopped the Polish striker from signing for Blackburn Rovers in 2010.

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