Robert Lewandowski has gone from scrawny Blackburn target to Bundesliga goal machine whose diet and workout stunned Pep Guardiola and earned him ‘The Body’ nickname

Sam Allardyce’s quest for a striker when manager of Blackburn Rovers saw him scour Europe for a goalscorer to boost their Premier League survival chances in 2010.

With David Dunn and Morten Gamst Pedersen creating chances on a regular basis, Jason Roberts, Franco Di Santo, Nikola Kalinic and David Hoilett were just not cutting it up top.

Head of recruitment Martyn Glover recommended Lech Poznan hitman Lewandowski to Big Sam, who had scored 21 times in 34 games. Discussions were had, a £4million fee was agreed and the deal was all but done.

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Robert Lewandowski is one of the most deadly strikers in the world
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However, the volcanic ash could which spurted from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull mountain grounded almost all flights from northern Europe, including Lewandowski’s flight to the UK to agree the deal.

Instead, Borussia Dortmund pounced in the summer and Rovers were made to kick themselves as Glover (now Head of Recruitment at Southampton) watched as the Poland international developed into one of the most lethal strikers on the continent.

Bundesliga defences are set to be terrified once again when the Bundesliga resumes and you can catch the games on talkSPORT.

But it was not all plain sailing for Lewandowski throughout his career, the Bayern Munich striker has paid the price for all 411 goals he has scored in his illustrious career.

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The Poland international was not always a physical specimen
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In 2006, he was released by Legia Warsaw (his home town club) for being too weak. Krzysztof Sikorski, one of his early coaches, recalls: “He was very thin. His legs were like sticks, and I was always scared that others would break them.”

His family have extraordinary physical attributes and athletic genes are distributed throughout; Lewandowski’s father, Krzysztof, was a Polish judo champion and soccer standout. His mother, Iwona, was a professional volleyball player. His older sister, Milena, played competitive volleyball.

So how did the scrawny striker develop into the Polish powerhouse fans have become accustomed to today?

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Jurgen Klopp played a huge part in Lewandowski’s development
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Lewandowski married Anna Stachurska, a karate World Cup bronze medalist, in 2013. Mrs Lewandowski is a well-known sports nutritionist, with a web site, blog, books, DVDs and more than 1.6 million Instagram followers.

As well as cutting out cow’s milk and soya milk, the fitness fanatics rarely imbibe alcohol and have massively reduced their consumption of fatty and sugary foods.

ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI'S TYPICAL DIET

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Created by fitness guru wife Anna, the Bayern Munich striker has all the ingredients to succeed

  • Breakfast: Porridge
  • Lunch: Spaghetti with veg, beetroot juice with fresh spices
  • Snacks: Pancakes or brownies with matcha tea
  • Dinner: Fresh fish or meat

She told Bild: “The most important thing is training and nutrition. We refrain from lactose and wheat flour. It’s about quality food.

“Pancakes, brownies, vegetable spaghetti, porridge or millet. We also like to eat high-quality fish.

“Sometimes after training we drink beetroot juice with cinnamon or cayenne pepper. When we mix many foods at once, sometimes we aren’t doing the right thing.

“We feel bloated, have to loosen our trousers. The mix is ​​too much for our body.”

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Anna Lewondowska is a fitness guru and helps her husband stay on track
@annalewandowskahpba

Tom Williams in Bleacher Report. wrote: “So successful was Lewandowski’s approach to nutrition and fitness that at Dortmund he was nicknamed ‘The Body’ by his admiring teammates.”

Former Dortmund teammate Nuri Sahin said: “Lewy has the most incredible body, it’s just pure muscles. It stuns the other players in the changing room.”

As well as striker specific drills at Bayern, the forward also partakes in high-intensity workouts which focused on explosive power.

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Lewandowski trains and eats like a machine in order to fuel his body
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Not only does he enjoy weightlifting and kickboxing with his wife, Lewandowski works out at his home gym.

“We’ve got a gym at home and I use it on my days off, usually with my wife Anna,” he told an interviewer.

“Sometimes I do special exercises to work on my concentration, which is very important for a striker. And I need strength in order to compete against powerful defenders.”

When Pep Guardiola ended his sabbatical from Barcelona and took the Bayern job, he was stunned to learn of Lewandowski’s physical and mental dedication to the sport.

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“He is the most professional player I have ever met,’ he said in 2016 according to ​AS.

“In his head, he thinks about the right food, sleep and training: 24 hours a day. He is always there, never injured, because he focuses on these things.

“He always knows what is important to be in the best condition. But I was always very, very pleased with him, from the first moment.”

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Success and physical prowess help drive the Lewandowski’s
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With a contract in Bavaria lasting until 2023, the German champions have complete faith that Lewandowski will still be a prime centre forward, breaking their usual stance on contract extensions for players over 30 years old.

He has played 30 or more games per season in the Bundesliga in the past decade – a record only beaten by a one other player, a goalkeeper.

And perhaps the most crucial reason for this unwavering consistency is his approach to getting rest periods, including hiring a sleeping coach.

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Resting is crucial if you want to look as good as Robert Lewandowski
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“There were two or three sessions where we met,” he told Sport Bid. “It goes over some details as to how I can regenerate better.

“For example, that there is no source of light in the room at all. We even discussed in which position I sleep best.

“Since I’m right-handed and my right foot is stronger, it’s better for me to sleep on my left side. I’m trying to put that into practice, but it’s obviously hard to implement it one-to-one.”

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