Lewandowski sets an example - Nawalka talks up Poland star

Poland begins its World Cup campaign against Senegal on Tuesday and striker Robert Lewandowski will be its main threat.

Published : Jun 19, 2018 00:18 IST

Adam Nawalka hailed the professionalism of Robert Lewandowski with the Bayern Munich striker set to spearhead Poland's World Cup challenge.

Lewandowski was the top scorer in the European qualifiers with 16 goals and scored a Bundesliga-best 29 times to propel Bayern to another German title last season.

The 29-year-old has never played at a World Cup following Poland's failure to qualify in 2010 and 2014 and coach Nawalka is delighted Lewandowski will now be rewarded for his continued excellence.

Speaking ahead of his side's Group H opener against Senegal in Moscow, he said: "I believe the scale of his talent is immense but it's supported by a lot of work and a professional attitude.

"He is one of the best players in the world and Robert sets an example to other players on how to run a career."

That's not to say Poland is over-reliant on Lewandowski, though.

"I've said it many times, Lewandowski is a very important player, he's the captain, he's the star but we always take an approach that's it's the team that counts," Nawalka added.

"Every player contributes to what the team is capable of. Robert is an excellent captain and an excellent player."

Nawalka's main selection headache for the Senegal clash is defender Kamil Glik.

The Monaco centre-half injured a shoulder shortly after being named in the 23-man squad and it was initially thought he would miss the tournament but he has made a remarkable recovery.

Glik trained with the squad on Monday evening at Spartak Stadium and will be assessed before Nawalka names his starting XI.

His absence would be a blow for Poland but Nawalka insists there are other options.

He said: "From the beginning of my work, we've been trying to prepare the team so that in the case of injuries, or suspensions, we have other solutions and this is also the case of Kamil.

"He is suffering from a serious injury and we don't know if Kamil is going to play in the first match.

"He's going to participate in the training session tonight and we'll see how he feels. Kamil is a very tough guy, he has done everything he can to recuperate from his injury, he trains a dozen hours or so a day but whether Kamil is going to play tomorrow is unknown.

"We have prepared other solutions. That's the way football is and we have been working very hard on this."

Winger Jakub Blaszczykowski could win his 100th cap on Tuesday but is focused solely on helping Poland off to a winning start.

The Wolfsburg man said: "Each game for Poland is an honour and every player thinks the same way.

"My individual achievement is not the most important, what is most important is the team.

"I don't know if I will start, it will depend on the coach's decision and I respect that. We will do everything we can to win."

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