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“I met Florentino twice…”

  • The Pole scored four goals against Madrid in the 2013 Champions League semifinal. It was then that the president of Madrid wanted to sign him for the first time.

Although his record is full of collective titles and individual awards, there was no greater night for Robert Lewandowski than that of April 24, 2013. He scored four goals against Madrid in one of the most important possible matches, a Champions League semifinal first leg. A memorable night that Madrid was not able to raise at the Bernabeu and of which there are two survivors in the white team. Modric, who started; and Benzema, who came out in the second half. The two were privileged witnesses of the exhibition of the Pole, whose photo with all four fingers up when he scored the fourth goal against Diego Lopez went around the world.

That game did not go unnoticed by the president of Real Madrid. Since that night, signing Lewandowski, especially at a time when Benzema was in dispute, became an obsession for Florentino Perez, who waited for the second leg to have a conversation with the Polish striker. By then, Lewandowski had one more year left on his contract with Borussia Dortmund. Florentino tried to persuade him but, after losing the Champions League final against Bayern, Lewandowski preferred to wait another year and ended up committing himself to the Munich team.

“It is true that I met Florentino Perez a couple of times, one of them after a game we played against Real Madrid. But what happened in that talk I cannot tell”, the Polish striker said in September 2021 on the same day he received his first Golden Boot. As Bild explained in his day, it was not two but three times that Madrid tried his signing. In addition in 2013, and 2015 there were numerous more meetings between Cezary Kucharski and Maik Barthel, former agents of the footballer, and the white general manager Jose Angel Sánchez. Kucharski himself was even hunted in the presidential box at the Santiago Bernabéu, but the signing went awry again. Bayern raised his salary to 16 million euros per year and prohibited the contract from having an exit clause to Madrid. Finally, the whites returned to the charge in 2018, but it was not possible either. Football has finally brought Lewandowski to Barcelona. Of course, it seems very difficult for him to repeat that feat of 2013, on one of his biggest nights as a professional footballer.

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