"I know where I came from; I appreciate what I have now". Exclusive interview with Robert Lewandowski
I can talk about money. I have it only thanks to hard work. No one ever gave me anything for free and I never took anything from anyone, said Robert Lewandowski in TVN24's "Fakty po Faktach". The captain of Bayern Munich and Poland's national team also revealed how the birth of his daughter changed him. "Klara made me smile more," he admitted.
Lewandowski stressed in "Fakty po Faktach" that being the captain of Bayern Munich is "a great pride, great motivation and great distinction".
He added that he, as a Pole, was able to "break down the walls or the way that Poles were once perceived in Germany".
"It's something that motivates me even more and reminds me that hard work pays," he said.
"I hope my father sees me from up above"
Poland's captain and top striker said that each time he enters the pitch, he feels that his late father would be proud of him.
"I won't hide that he was very important to me and helped me a lot. Thanks to him I am where I am. I had always dreamed that my father could see one of my games, but unfortunately he never had a chance. But I hope that he watches me from up above and sees in even greater detail," said Lewandowski.
"My mom watches my every game and is very emotional about every situation that I'm involved in," he added.
On hate speech: it happens to me but I got an armour
Lewandowski was asked if there's anything that could break him. "I'm a human being, I have feelings, better and worse moments. My experience allows me to handle some, or rather most, of my problems. That's the difference between today's Robert Lewandowski and the one from a few years back," said the footballer.
He also touched upon the problem of hate speech which, as he said, "definitely happens to him, especially in the internet".
"Despite that I know how to avoid it and that I have developed thick skin, this armour that I have built, it still gets me, sometimes less, sometimes more," said Lewandowski.
In his opinion, more important issue is the hate speech among the youth, in schools. "Young people are constantly exposed to it and there are individuals who cannot cope and we all know what can happen," he underscored.
"I know where I came from"
Asked if his home is in Poland or in Germany, he replied: "I spend most of my time in Germany. I live in Munich but I always visit my home in Poland".
"Warsaw is a place I always want to return to and most likely I will after my career is over," said Lewandowski.
He stressed that despite earning a lot of money his approach towards life is very much the same when he was at the beginning of his great career. "I know where I came from. I remember how it was to drive a Fiat Bravo, to live in a council flat and study at the same time. I appreciate what I have now," he said.
"I can talk about money. I have it only thanks to hard work. No one ever gave me anything for free and I never took anything from anyone. I know that in Poland, sometimes, it's a taboo subject, But I think people started to get used to the fact that as long as you work hard, believe in what you do and do everything that you can, than you can achieve it," he said.
Lewandowski: my daughter made me more open
Lewandowski spoke also about changes that happened in his life after he had become a father.
"Klara (Lewandowski's daughter who was born in May 2017) made me more open as a human being. I was always rather introverted, not really eager to meet new people. Actually maybe not necessarily new ones, but I was reluctant to open to the people I already knew. I guess that's because I had met many people in my life who caused me distress and also let me down with some of their decisions or behaviour. These experiences caused that consciously, or rather subcounsciously, I started to withdraw.
"I think that Klara made me smile more, be more positive, more open to the world," said Lewandowski.
"Many options" after the end of career
Asked about his future after his career would come to an end, he replied that "there are many options". "It's hard to say which one I'll choose exactly. I still have a few years of playing and I haven't really given it a thought and I don't want to do it. I'm focused on football," Robert Lewandowski stressed.