Story of two men from Bayern Munich

Amol Gokhale
Monday, 18 June 2018

These two are captains of Poland and Colombia national teams respectively, and one of the most talented players in their jobs. Lewandowski, an accomplished striker and James a perfect playmaker.

MOSCOW: Robert Lewandowski and James Rodriguez. There are so many similarities and differences between these two Bayern Munich players.

These two are captains of Poland and Colombia national teams respectively, and one of the most talented players in their jobs. Lewandowski, an accomplished striker and James a perfect playmaker.

They both dream of playing for Real Madrid, one apparently having informed Bayern hierarchy that he seeks different challenge now after four years, while another left Real and came to Bayern for more playing time.

But the part where they are on the same plain ends just there. When it comes to the continental tournaments or even a World Cup, it is the 26-year-old James, edges the Lewandowski in all aspects.

Three years junior to the Polish striker, he emerged as a superstar after the 2014 World Cup, scoring six goals in five matches, taking away the golden boot.

His wonderful volley, finding the top corner against Latin American rivals Uruguay also earned him FIFA Puskás Award for the best goal of 2014. Although Colombia went out against host Brazil in the quarter-finals--Brazilian star David Luiz consoling him after the game moved the fans across the globe.

WORLD CUP DEBUT
On the other hand, former Borussia Dortmund player has a really poor goal-scoring record for his high standards - one goal apiece in both 2012 and 2016 Euros. 

Interestingly, it will be a World Cup debut for the 29-year-old striker as Poland failed to qualify for the last two editions. But, this time around, the captain led from the front, scoring the highest number of 16 goals during the 10 qualifying games with three hat-tricks.

The onus will be on him once again if Poland are to make most of the open group that they are put into alongside Colombia, Senegal and Japan. The equations are simple for Adam Nawałka's Polish side, Lewandowski scores, they win, as more often than he does not.

There is a reason he is loved so much in Munich and called Lewan'Goal'ski and Bayern President Karl Heinz Rummenigge isn't willing to sell his prized asset, despite striker wanting away.

DIFFERENT PLAYERS, SAME IMPACT
Lewandowski is an out and out striker, who plays off the shoulders of the defenders, making runs behind the back-line and finding the back of the net for fun.

On the other hand, the Colombian prefers to play behind the striker, glide on the surface and provide the creative spark to his side with his mesmerising skills and ability from the set pieces.

In Munich, both men had a relatively successful season as the German giants won the Bundesliga with ease, Lewandowski scored 30 goals, while James chipped in with seven and 11 assists to his name,

Come to the biggest stage, their national sides will largely depend on their attacking prowess and ability to change the course of the game as they look to put on a show in Russia.

These two team-mates from the Bavarian side will go head-to-head on June 24 in Kazan in a clash which could potentially decide the group winner, as these two men from Bayern look to write their World Cup story -- one a completely new, and another, next chapter of successful previous one.

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