Sat. Dec 10th, 2022
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Robert Lewandowski, one of the greatest goal-scorers ever, is 2 games away from cementing a brutal World Cup legacy

Whenever he decides to hang his cleats up, Poland’s Robert Lewandowski will be remembered as one of the greatest goal-scorers in the history of soccer. But for as much success as he’s enjoyed on a domestic level with his various clubs, the legendary Polish No. 9  has yet to come through for his country on the biggest international stage.

Lewandowski has not scored a goal for Poland in four career World Cup games. It’s admittedly a small sample size — not to mention the relatively poor quality of the rest of the Polish squad — but it is nonetheless an eyebrow-raising mark for someone as prolific as the striker.

Against Mexico in the opening Group C game of the 2022 World Cup, Lewandowski had a chance to get on the board and give the Poles a potential 1-0 win on a penalty shot. It … did not go well against Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

OCHOA BLOCKS LEWANDOWSKI’S PENALTY FOR MEXICO pic.twitter.com/j9qO1Sodyt

— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 22, 2022

What makes Lewandowski’s miss more notable (and shocking) is how superb he’s been on penalty kicks throughout his illustrious career. On a club level, he’s made 40 of 45 attempts. On an international level with Poland, he had a perfect 10-of-10 resume. Until Tuesday, that is.

In what might be the 34-year-old’s final World Cup appearance with Poland, this miss against Mexico had to sting a bit more — especially with Argentina’s massive upset defeat at the hands of Saudi Arabia earlier in the day. With Poland’s group seemingly wide open, Lewandowski had a chance to potentially give Poland a nice cushion through the rest of group play. Now Poland likely needs a result against a team that just beat Lionel Messi’s squad and, well, Messi’s team himself. Not an ideal spot.

And if Lewandowski doesn’t score in the next two games (while Poland also doesn’t advance) — he may conclude his World Cup career without a goal on the biggest stage. Once again, not ideal!

I’m not sure that Poland finds a way to get to the Round of 16, but I would be shocked if Lewandowski went quietly for his home nation. Bet on this all-time superstar striker finding a way to get a shot or two in the back of the net to at least make the potential end of his World Cup career a good one.

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