Bayern Munich and Poland superstar Robert Lewandowski has explained to CBS Sports the truth behind claims that he could have joined Blackburn Rovers or Genoa before he opted for Borussia Dortmund.
The 32-year-old has enjoyed major success in Germany with nine Bundesliga, one UEFA Champions League, four DFB Pokal and one FIFA Club World Cup title as some of the successes to his name with BVB and Bayern.
However, Lewandowski was wanted by Blackburn and Genoa in 2010, but debunked the myth that he was set to sign for Sam Allardyce’s club.
“There are lots of rumors about this story,” he said. “In 2010, I was a player for Lech Poznan. It was my second year with the team. I knew that I should take the next step in the following season with a better team and no longer in the Polish league.
“Before, I went, I had a few offers. For example, Genoa, Blackburn Rovers and Borussia Dortmund, as well as a few other European sides. In this crazy story, I knew that I wanted to go to the team who would be in the Champions League the next campaign. Only Dortmund could offer that at the time.”
As well as Allardyce, Genoa president Enrico Preziosi was also keen on the Pole and Lewandowski decided to take a look at the two clubs — even if he was already convinced that Dortmund was the right choice.
“The idea was ‘let’s fly to Genoa and see how the training center, the city and the stadium look,’ said the man from Warsaw. “Part of that idea was ‘we can fly to Genoa and to Blackburn.’ However, when I went to fly to Blackburn, that is when the Icelandic volcano situation happened and nobody in Europe could fly for about two or three weeks to a month.
“If I flew there, it was to see the facilities — I never wanted 100% to go there as I knew that my next step should be Dortmund.”
Lewandowski has no regrets and went on to taste domestic success with Dortmund and also played a role in taking the club to the UEFA Champions League final before joining Bayern while Blackburn and Genoa have struggled since.
“It was not true that I would sign the contract if I flew there,” he added. “I did not want to sign the contract. I only wanted to see how everything looked. It was the same with Genoa.
“I do not know if anything could have happened to change my mind. I was 100% clear that my choice should not be a club that was not in the Champions League or the Europa League. That is why I knew that Dortmund should be the step in my career.
“Okay, I could not fly, so I could not compare the clubs. It was not a big problem. It was not a big thing as my mind was already clear.”
Lewandowski and his Bayern teammates enjoyed a highly successful spell under Hansi Flick before Julian Nagelsmann’s arrival at Allianz Arena and now the challenge will be to get back to similar levels of domestic and continental dominance under the young tactician.
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