We have all heard the familiar tales of footballing near-misses. I know for a fact that Reading ignored the talents of a Theo Walcott as a youngster.
The more popular urban legends of this ilk include the tale of Diego Maradona to Sheffield United, Kenny Dalglish to West Ham United and Zinedine Zidane to Blackburn Rovers; and it is with the latter club that we highlight yet another missed opportunity.
It has been revealed quite recently that Sam Allardyce had the opportunity to snap up the Pole whilst he was banging in the goals for homeland club Lech Poznan. Unfortunately some blooming volcano went off in Iceland and the funds were not deemed appropriate so it was called off with Nikola Kalinic arriving instead.
Of course Blackburn fans can hold the comfort that many teams reportedly rejected the chance to sign the player including Tottenham Hotspur; while West Brom were unfortunate not to get the player when 20-years-old.
At least Blackburn actually wanted to sign him only for mother nature to intervene; others simply turned their noses up at the opportunity.
One such club was AS Roma; as revealed by Polish legend Zibi Boniek this week.
Boniek played for the capital club for three years in the 1980’s and has remained in contact with several senior figures with Giallorosso.
He made it clear that he let them know of the talent Lewandowski possessed but claims his protestations fell on deaf ears:
“When Lewandowski was at Lech Poznan, I called my friends at Roma, I told them to catch the first plane to Poland, to sign Robert, who then would have sold for just €1.5m, no problem. They just ignored me. I do not understand why all of Europe needed to see him score four goals against Real Madrid to realise that he is a great player,”
Other Italian clubs such as Napoli and Genoa also did not act sufficiently enough to bring him in and in the end he went to Borussia Dortmund.
Now regarded as one of Europe’s most feared marksmen he looks set to play his final game for the Bundesliga outfit against Bayern Munich in the Champions League tonight.
You can be in no doubt that teams will be more than ready to snap up his signature this summer; volcanic ash or no volcanic ash.
Do you think Lewandowski will sign off a winner tonight?
image: © Damien Cansse