Robert Lewandowski: I suppose it’s not so bad. I don’t have a problem with such things. I am not afraid of anything because I am mentally strong.
Not even on June 8 in Warsaw, the city where you were born, when Poland will be playing Greece and the whole nation will be looking to you for inspiration?
Of course, I know that the pressure is huge. Not only the pressure on me, but on the whole team. Anyway, I am ready for that and I simply have to face such a challenge. The most important thing for us is to win our games. If my goals can help then all the better.
Poland have not played a competitive game since 2009. Do you think this will be a problem for the team?
No, I think everything is going in the right direction. We have real potential in the team, thanks to our players being with some very good European clubs. We have a good skill level and you can see an improvement in the style of our play. Poland is not strong because of individuals but as a team. That is the most important thing for us. If we are a real team, and each player gives this team something extra as well, we will be able to surprise our rivals. I believe that from the first group game on we will prove this and we will show our best.
People say Poland have been drawn in the best group possible, but you are still the lowest-ranked team in FIFA rankings…
I understand that our fans are very optimistic and that is quite natural. But, for us, it will not be an easy group for sure. It is obvious, we know it very well. Of course, we are at home and we will try to win each game. On the other hand, you can only see which group was easy or strong after the tournament.
How did you feel last year when you drew 2-2 with Germany in Gdansk, conceding a goal in the last seconds of injury time?
It was a painful experience because we were so close to winning. But that was a very good lesson for us and that goal could be profitable. We should draw our conclusions from this and hope we will not make the same mistake again.
You are the only forward in the coach’s preferred 4-2-3-1 system. But in a recent interview you suggested that it might be worth playing with two forwards…
Our coach prefers that system so there is no sense in discussing it further. I have a role as the only forward and many teams play in the same way. If you want to use another one, you should have a deeper squad with more replacements. And at the moment we have a little problem with that.
That point was proved when you were injured and missed February’s friendly against Portugal. Everyone was lamenting Poland’s lack of attacking options…
Injuries are a nightmare for every team, especially before such a tournament as the Euros. We can only hope that all the players in form can be called on and that the coach will have more options.
What will be regarded as a success for Poland at Euro 2012?
Qualifying for the knockout stage.
If you do qualify you will then face either Holland, Germany, Portugal or Denmark…
It is not an easy task, for sure. The most important thing for us is to qualify for the knockout stage. If so, you never know. If you win, you are euphoric and sometimes you can do even more than could have been expected. And I believe that we will feel the support of our fans who will back us in every game during the finals. In the last few games it was not always as it should be. It can be very important for the team. But first we need to take the first step and qualify for the knockout stage.
Interview by Dariusz Kurowski