- Bayern Munich face Tigres in Thursday’s FIFA Club World Cup ultimate
- Robert Lewandowski and Andre-Pierre Gignac have been semi-ultimate heroes
- Stats, quotes and golazos characteristic as we profile the 2 strikers
Can FC Bayern München emulate the 2009/10 Barcelona and full one of many biggest achievement’s in soccer historical past? Can Tigres UANL trigger the most important shock in FIFA Club World Cup™ ultimate historical past?
We’ll discover out on Thursday, however one factor we all know for sure is that each groups are indebted to 30-one thing, international purpose machines. On the eve of the showdown, we highlight Robert Lewandowski and Andre-Pierre Gignac.
|Robert Lewandowski||Andre-Pierre Gignac|
Lewandowski has netted 1.07 targets per sport on common this season (29 in 27). Incredibly, it’s nonetheless wanting his return for final time period: 1.17.
Gignac has hit ten targets in his final 9 appearances in all competitions and has scored in six successive outings.
“I think if we win this Club World Cup it would complete one of the biggest historical achievements in all of football. Not just for Bayern or for Germany, but it would be one of the biggest historical achievements from all over the world.”
“Andre-Pierre Gignac is fundamental for Tigres. He dictates the pace of the game. Technically he dazzles me. He leads the team. [He knows] when to speed up and slow down play. He’s decisive. It’s not easy to stop him scoring penalties.”
They nearly didn’t make it
“His legs were so thin. I kept telling him that unless he ate more bacon sandwiches and put some weight on he may never make it, but the years passed and his legs remained like sticks.”
Those have been the phrases of Krzysztof Sikorski, the coach of the youth crew Lewandowski performed for from the ages of eight to 16. It was maybe the rationale the ahead began out in solely the Polish fifth flight and, though he was subsequently added to Legia Warsaw’s youth ranks, he was launched with out ever making the primary-crew squad for being too skinny (he’s definitely ripped up that notion).
Lewandowski was advised to surrender soccer however he “just loved watching Thierry Henry and was determined to be like him”. So, he labored his approach up from the Polish third tier to the second to the primary, the place he established himself as its standout performer and impressed Lech Poznan to their first Ekstraklasa crown in 17 years.
Oh, and he is not skinny!
“I was told that if I couldn’t make it at a club that was heading for the [fourth division] and whose financial problems meant they couldn’t buy any players, then I had no future in football.”
Gignac was launched from small-time, hometown membership Martigues as a 16-12 months-outdated and urged to put money into his tutorial training. But he desperately clinged to his footballing one and, two years later, made a dream skilled debut for Lorient in Ligue 2, rising from the bench and shortly scoring the winner.
It didn’t assist set up him on the membership and he duly discovered himself on mortgage at Pau within the French third tier. After a forgettable first season at Toulouse, nevertheless, his second time period noticed him end as Ligue 1’s 24-purpose main marksman, comfortably away from closest challengers Karim Benzema and Guillaume Hoarau.
Tigres’ all-time high scorers
Bayern’s all-time high scorers
Gignac has now scored 13 consecutive penalties for Tigres. Curiously, the final three penalties he missed got here within the Augusts of 2017, ’18 and ’19.
Robert Lewandowski had efficiently transformed 17 successive spot-kicks till his final try was saved by Hertha Berlin’s Rune Jarstein. The Norwegian grew to become solely the second goalkeeper to save lots of a penalty from the Pole within the Bundesliga after Manuel Neuer, who denied the then-Borussia Dortmund participant in 2013.
We meet once more
Gignac was a part of the Marseille squad – one coached by France 1998 and Russia 2018 winner Didier Deschamps and that includes the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, Mathieu Valbuena and the Ayew brothers – that confronted Bayern Munich within the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. He got here off the bench within the first leg, whereas Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, David Alaba and Thomas Muller helped the Bavarians to a 4-0 mixture victory.
Gignac did rating a bullet header previous Neuer as France beat Germany 2-0 in a 2015 pleasant.
Lewandowski’s father performed within the Polish second flight however had better success as a judoka, changing into a nationwide champion. The Bayern No9’s mom was a volleyball participant, whereas his sister performs the identical sport. Lewandowski’s spouse Anna is a karateka who gained a number of medals on the Karate World Championship.
Gignac Is cousins with Panathinaikos winger Yohan Mollo and former Marseille defender Jacques Abardonado.
Lewandowski is one in all solely two footballers to win the 86-occasions-awarded Polish Sports Personality of the Year. 1982 recipient Zbigniew Boniek had been the one one, however the Bayern Munich striker triumphed in 2015 and 2020.
Gignac grew to become, when being summoned for UEFA EURO 2016, the primary participant primarily based exterior of Europe to be referred to as up by France. He made six appearances within the match, hitting the put up within the final minute of regular time within the ultimate.