Robert Lewandowski opens up on midnight chat with Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund that ‘changed my career’
‘I didn’t know what he wanted from me’: Robert Lewandowski opens up in a midnight chat with Jurgen Klopp in Dortmund that he ‘changed my career’… while describing the Liverpool boss as a ‘father’
Robert Lewandowski has revealed a conversation he had with Jurgen Klopp early in his Borussia Dortmund career that “changed my career”.
The Polish legend spent four years playing under the Liverpool manager at Dortmund before sealing his move to Bayern Munich, but opened up on a midnight chat with Klopp that helped him find his form.
Klopp is considered one of the best men’s coaches in the game, with Lewandowski’s history attesting to the German’s ability to understand his players to bring out the best in them.
After struggling to find the back of the net, Lewandowski told ESPN he sought out his manager for a one-on-one chat that resulted in a change in ‘mindset’ that saw him excel in front of goal.
The Barcelona forward also admitted that Klopp became almost a father figure to him at the club, having lost his own father when he was 16 years old.
Robert Lewandowski opened up about a conversation he had with Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund
Lewandowski played 186 times for Klopp in a successful spell that won him two Bundesliga titles.
“I think a situation changed my career”, Lewandowski said in an interview with ESPN. ‘It was the first season, perhaps the beginning of my second season, at Dortmund. He wasn’t in good shape, I didn’t score as many goals. I didn’t know what Jurgen wanted from me.
‘After a game we lost, I went straight to him. Maybe it was midnight at the hotel. I told him: “I want to talk to you because I don’t understand and I don’t know what you want from me, what you expect from me.”
‘And this conversation was like, I thought maybe we were going to talk for five minutes, 10 minutes, but we were talking for about an hour and a half.
‘The most important thing was that I was talking to him, maybe like a father. And I missed my father because I lost my father when he was 16 years old. Maybe since then, I couldn’t find someone who could talk to me like that.
‘Three days later, and remember you can’t change anything in training because you don’t have time, we were playing in the Bundesliga and I scored a hat trick and provided an assist and we won 4-0. That was Augsburg, I think.
The Polish international is Barcelona’s top scorer this season with 25 in all competitions
‘At that moment I understood that the mentality and what you have in your head is so important because I didn’t change anything. But I felt some freedom, as if it was clear in my mind. After this everything changed.
The pair won back-to-back Bundesliga titles in Dortmund in 2010-11 and 2011-12, as well as a German Cup and a Super Cup, in one of the club’s most successful spells.
Lewandowski has played more games under Klopp than any other manager (186), scoring 102 times and adding 42 more assists in a devastating partnership.
The Polish icon now turns up for Barcelona, who take on Real Madrid in Sunday’s El Clasico clash.
Lewandowski is the club’s top scorer this season after sealing a pass from perennial winners Bayern Munich with 25 goals and six assists in all competitions under Xavi.