With eight goals in the UEFA Champions League and a personal best of 27 in the Bundesliga, Robert Lewandowski is arguably enjoying his best season yet. Now, as Bayern take on Atlético Madrid in their European semi-final, the 27-year-old hopes the time has come for him to put his 2013 disappointment behind him and win the continent’s top club prize.
UEFA.com: What do you know about Atletico Madrid?
Robert Lewandowski: They have the best defence in the Spanish Liga. I think they’re a team that play on the break. We need to be careful. They have some wonderful players and I think it will be an attractive match. I hope we show our strong side in the first leg in Madrid and take a good result back to Munich.
As a striker, it’s a challenge to face a side that concede so few, but I’m happy to be playing against them. We know it will be tough, but we are Bayern München. I hope we prepare well for it, don’t make mistakes and show we want to play in the final. I am hoping for two great performances from us, to confirm our ambitions to go as far as possible.
UEFA.com: What have you heard about the atmosphere at the Estadio Vicente Calderón?
Lewandowski: We’ve heard the atmosphere there is among the top three in Europe when it comes to how the fans support their team. I like playing in front of crowds like that. Regardless whether you’re at home or away, those are always great matches for any player. Even though the crowd might be against you, it motivates you and your adrenalin goes to the limit.
UEFA.com: Your Dortmund team lost to Bayern in the 2012/13 final; does that give you extra motivation to win this time?
Lewandowski: Despite being probably the only team around capable of beating Bayern, we didn’t. It’s not a nice feeling – particularly when we were so close to winning. So it hurts, of course. I still believe I will be able to win it one day. It would be a wonderful feeling and I will do my best to experience it.
UEFA.com: Some say this has been your best season yet. Do you agree?
Lewandowski: It has been a very decent season. I hope to score a few more important goals and I hope to win some trophies, but I’m happy to be scoring so many. Both Poland and Bayern have been playing really well this season, but it’s not over yet – there’s still a lot to do. I train hard every day and look to get better. Regardless of how many I’ve scored, I still want more.
UEFA.com: This is Josep Guardiola’s last season at Bayern. Do you feel any added pressure to win the competition for him?
Lewandowski: It would be amazing if we could bid farewell to Pep Guardiola by winning the Champions League – it would be the icing on the cake after all the time we’ve had together at Bayern. I hope it happens. Everyone chooses their own path, their own direction – and everyone knows that when one door closes, another opens. But we want to win every single match until the end of our time with Guardiola. We want to be celebrating until the end.