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How A Volcano Prevented Robert Lewandowski From Joining Blackburn Rovers

How A Volcano Prevented Robert Lewandowski From Joining Blackburn Rovers

Robert Lewandowski returns to action with Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga this evening - but one fateful incident 'changed his life' and stopped him joining Blackburn Rovers.

Lewandowski has gone on to become one of the world's best strikers and has scored 25 goals in 23 league games this season.

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But if it wasn't for one cancelled flight back in 2010, it's very likely that the 31-year-old will have plied his trade in the Premier League at Ewood Park.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

Blackburn's manager at the time was Sam Allardyce and he recently discussed how the transfer nearly came to be.

"I went with my chief scout Martyn Glover and it was quite a trip," Allardyce told talkSPORT.

"We were very impressed with the player, the chairman did a deal for about €8 million with the club and he was due to fly over.

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"The ash cloud started in Iceland and all flights got cancelled, so he couldn't get on the flight."

Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted in April 2010 and caused huge disruptions to air travel for six days.

"We were waiting for him at Manchester airport and then a week or two later he signed for Borussia Dortmund," the former England manager continued.

"I didn't remember this until reading an article and Lewandowski brought it up. It just reminded me how close we came to one of the world's top goalscorers."

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

Some managers often tell tales of players they 'nearly signed' - but Lewandowski himself confirmed that he was close to joining from Lech Poznan.

"I had the opportunity to join Blackburn, but I wanted to see how Blackburn looked, the training ground, the place I met with Sam Allardyce," the Polish international told The Times per TeamTalk.

"It was in Poland after a game. I thought he was a good guy, a very good coach.

"He was prepared to take a young player who was something new and might be something special. He wanted to come to Poland to see me. That was nice.

"There were a lot of offers to think about when I was leaving Poznan. I wanted to know if I went there, 'What would I get? What would I learn?'.

"I think it would have been fine if I had gone to Blackburn, but I would have liked to go and see the training centre, the stadium. I couldn't go because of the cloud. It was the volcano. The volcano with the ash cloud.

Lewandowski went on to sign for Dortmund over Blackburn. (Image Credit: PA)
Lewandowski went on to sign for Dortmund over Blackburn. (Image Credit: PA)

"It was one week and nobody could fly in Europe. The flight was booked, but we couldn't leave. It changed my life. If I had gone to Blackburn maybe I would have stayed there."

Instead, Lewandowski opted to move to Borussia Dortmund and he worked under Jurgen Klopp who'd put together an exciting team with 'Lewa' as the focal point.

Then as they say, the rest is history and Lewandowski went on to establish himself as the clinical forward he is today.

What is your favourite transfer that almost happened but never came to be?

Let us know in the comments below.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: Blackburn Rovers, Football News, Football, Robert Lewandowski, Sam Allardyce, Transfers, Bayern Munich

Daniel Marland

Daniel is a freelance journalist for SPORTbible and covers a variety of sports. He also has past experience of working at Manchester United and once locked eyes with Jose Mourinho. He lived to tell the tale.

 

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