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Robert Lewandowski: ‘I have fulfilled my dream at World Cup’

Robert Lewandowski: ‘I have fulfilled my dream at World Cup’

Poland striker Robert Lewandowski has expressed his delight after ‘fulfilling his dream’ of scoring his first World Cup goal in the 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

The 34-year-old failed to find they net in three appearances at the 2018 tournament in Russia before he missed a second-half penalty in the goalless draw with Mexico in their opening Group C fixture in Qatar on Tuesday.

However, Poland’s all-time leading scorer was gifted his first goal on the biggest international stage when he pounced on a defensive error from Saudi Arabia’s Abdulelah Al-Malki before slotting a composed left-footed strike beyond goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais to seal the victory eight minutes from time.

Lewandowski was also involved in Poland’s opening goal in the 39th minute, with the Barcelona man setting up Piotr Zielinski to fire the ball into he roof of the net from close range, five minutes after Saudi Arabia’s Salem Al-Dawsari had a penalty saved by Wojciech Szczesny.

Poland now have four points on the board from their first two Group C matches, and they just need to avoid defeat in their final group fixture against Argentina next Wednesday to qualify for the last 16.

𝗘𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗽 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂’𝗿𝗲 𝗱𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗻𝗼𝘄

Robert Lewandowski finally has his World Cup goal 🇵🇱👏

Look how much that means to him 😢 pic.twitter.com/TTdOLH3ivS

— ITV Football (@itvfootball) November 26, 2022

Lewandowski was visibly emotional after celebrating his goal to wrap up the three points for Poland, and the veteran striker has admitted that he was determined to score at the World Cup, with his campaign in Qatar set to be his last on the biggest international stage.

“The older I get, the more emotional I get. I’m aware when it comes to the World Cup, it might be my last World Cup,” Lewandowski told reporters after the match.

“I have fulfilled my dream. It is known that when playing for the national team, the good of the team comes first. I am a striker and of course in the back of my mind is to score goals and help the team.

“Even though I managed to record an assist on the first goal, I still hoped to score a goal at the World Cup and fulfil my dream.

Lewandowski added: “I have worked hard to achieve this goal. We played very well defensively. We could attack the opponent more in the midfield at times and take the ball, jump at the opponent and be aggressive.

“We wanted to control the game and it’s good that we managed to keep our cool. I know we still have a lot to show.”

Poland's Robert Lewandowski celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on November 26, 2022© Reuters

Poland manager Czeslaw Michniewicz has revealed that he was “not surprised” to see Lewandowski express his emotion after scoring his first World Cup goal.

“I was not surprised, because I know how deeply he lived the last match. The whole team supported him a lot,” said Michniewicz.

“We are very happy together with him, just as we were very sad together with him after the penalty.”

Lewandowski has now taken his international goal tally to 77 for Poland, 29 strikes in front of Wlodzimierz Lubanski in second place.

The Polish talisman will now be hoping to steer his nation into the knockout rounds for the first time since 1986 when they lock horns with Argentina next Wednesday.

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