Robert Lewandowski Reveals Bet With Jurgen Klopp That Helped Make Him The World's Best Forward
Robert Lewandowski has revealed how a training ground bet with Jurgen Klopp helped him become one of the world's best strikers.
Lewandowski helped Bayern Munich to a legendary treble in 2020 and netted 55 goals in the entire calendar year. But he wasn't born a natural goalscorer.
The Polish international arrived at Borussia Dortmund in 2010 and being only 21-years-old in a foreign country, he struggled.
But it all started to change thanks to Klopp, who laid down a mini-bet to young Lewandowski.
He explains in The Players' Tribune: "When I arrived I could barely speak a word of German. I knew danke. Thank you. I knew scheisse. The weather was rainy and grey. And with Klopp, the intensity in training was very, very high.
"I was desperate to make my mark, and Jurgen wanted to challenge me. So in the first few months we made a little bet. If I scored 10 goals in a training session, he'd give me 50 euros. If I didn't, I'd give him 50 euros.
"The first few weeks, I had to pay up almost every time. He was laughing. But after a few months, the tables turned. I was the one raking in the cash.
"So one day he said, "Stop! O.K.! That's enough. You're ready now."
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Lewandowski's debut season in Germany saw him score just nine times in 43 appearances, a far cry from the numbers he produces nowadays.
After a slow start, he'd go on to bag 103 goals in 187 games for Dortmund, while winning two Bundesliga titles and reaching the 2013 Champions League final.
2014 saw him depart for Bayern and his fondness for current Liverpool boss Klopp still shines through, especially when it comes to personal struggles.
"At the time I didn't think about it. But now I realise that my conversation with Jurgen was like one of those I wish I could've had with my dad," the 32-year-old continued. "One of those I had not been able to have in many, many years.
"I could talk to Jurgen about anything. I could trust him. He is a family man, and he has so much empathy for what goes on in your private life.
"Jurgen was not only a father figure to me. As a coach, he was like the 'bad' teacher. And I mean that in the best sense of the word
"He was not content to let you be a B student, you know? Jürgen wanted A+ students. He didn't want it for him. He wanted it for you.
"Jurgen never forgot that we were humans first and footballers second."
Featured Image Credit: PA Images
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