Who is Poland’s first-choice penalty taker?

Robert Lewandowski
(Image credit: Getty)

After so many years of remarkable consistency in the Bundesliga, many wondered how quickly Robert Lewandowski would adjust to life at Barcelona (opens in new tab).

His quality has never been in doubt, but moving to a new club and country brings new challenges and even the best players can take time to settle in.

That hasn’t been the case for Lewandowski, who has taken La Liga by storm, registering 12 goals in his first 11 appearances.

He reached at least 40 goals in all competitions in seven of the eight seasons he spent at Bayern Munich (opens in new tab) and already looks well on course to hit that target again.

Fuelled by Lewandowski’s prolific form, Barca have put a summer of stress and upheaval behind them to start well under Xavi, at least domestically.

However, their results in the Champions League have given cause for concern, finishing a long way behind Bayern Munich and Inter Milan (opens in new tab) in the group stage.

That culminated in a humbling 3-0 defeat at home to Bayern, who looked entirely untroubled by Lewandowski’s departure.

Goals from marquee signing Sadio Mane, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Benjamin Pavard made it a comfortable night for the German champions.

It was particularly painful for Lewandowski to lose so convincingly to his former club as Barcelona were forced to drop into the Europa League.

But mental strength is one of the 34-year-old’s greatest attributes, enabling him to block out external noise and distraction to deliver exceptional performances on a regular basis.

The same is expected of him by the Polish national team, where he has long been the captain, figurehead and chief goal threat.

Heading into his second World Cup, Lewandowski has scored 76 goals in 134 international appearances, but drew a blank in Russia four years ago.

He will be eager to put that right this time around in a group containing Saudi Arabia, Mexico (opens in new tab) and Argentina (opens in new tab).

Lewandowski can rely on an enviable record from the penalty spot too, having failed with just one of his 12 attempts for Poland (opens in new tab).

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