Connect with us

FIFA World Cup: Russia 2018

Europe’s Most Lethal Striker?

He could send shivers down the spine of any defense line. His audacity for goal is unmatched. Little wonder he is rated up there with his kinds in Ronaldo and Messi.

The German Bundesliga defenders and net-minders wouldn’t mind attesting to this.

Poland are no heavyweights in the global football stage and yet he dragged them through to Russia. Making his international debut ten years ago in which he came on as a super-sub against San Marino, the 29-year-old has plundered in a combined 55 goals in 95 cameos and there is expectation of that scoring hot-streak continuing into the games in Moscow. Robert virtually owns the Bundesliga. This just concluded season is the only time he’d won the golden boot without hitting the 30-goal league mark.

The last 24 months have been breathtaking for a man unbelievably dismissed as no serious footballer for his frailties while growing up with Polish side Lech Poznan.

89 goals in 95 league games in the course of three seasons is by no means a small feat. So can Senegal stop Poland’s goal-pest Lewandowski?

The Bayern Munich star is a noticeable presence and it inevitably makes him The Tarangla Lions target. Gaffer Aliou Cisse wouldn’t mind losing sleep over him so long he is curtailed. And in Kalidou Koulibally, he appears to get a man cut out for the herculean task. His experience in defence belies his age. No player gets a mention along with juggernauts like Chelsea, Barcelona or Real Madrid in transfer rumours without showing immense ability.


Photo: In Kalidou Koulibally, Senegal appear to have a man cut for the job of handling Robert

Aerial ability looks to be his strongest point but so are his timely tackles. While speed isn’t what he’s best known for, the erstwhile KRC Genk centre-back is canny in stifling onslaughts from attackers.

Senegal’s chances of becoming the first African team to pick all points in this year’s World Cup will hinge on who they partner Koulibaly with at the back. Kara Mbodji has been his twin in defence in the last Africa Cup of Nations including the World Cup qualifiers but there have been alternations since the Anderlecht starlet sustained an injury.

Cisse’s inclusion of Mbodji in his final squad shows his complete trust in the man. He has used Lamine Gassama and Salif Sane as alternatives in the warm-up matches partly to inspect whether one of the two can jell with mainstay Kalidou and from the goals the Taranga Lions have conceded –three in five matches – there is a belief he’s already settled on continuing the Mbodji-Koulibaly idea.

And should there exist a leakage in the fortress, there is Khadim Ndiaye dubbed Mr. Reliable in between the sticks.

Favoured ahead of SPAL’s Andres Gomis and Rennes’ Abdoulaye Diallo, AC Horoya’s Ndiaye has repaid his coach’s faith by putting in brilliant performances.

So can Senegal stop one of Europe’s most lethal striker Robert Lewandowski? It won’t be long until we findout.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in FIFA World Cup: Russia 2018

Translate »