Robert Lewandowski believes he is only just entering his prime, as the Bayern Munich striker attempts to spark a return to Polish football's 1970s glory days at the 2018 World Cup.
Poland open their campaign in Russia against Senegal in Moscow on Tuesday, with Lewandowski finally set to make his mark on the grandest stage – qualifying woes having proved too steep to overcome in both 2010 and 2014.
However, far from thinking the World Cup has passed him by, the former Borussia Dortmund favourite – who turns 30 in August – feels this tournament has come along at the perfect time.
"I have a plan to play at the top level at least until I'm 35," he told The Guardian.
"I feel I'm just starting the best period for a striker. I'm mature and have a lot of experience.
"If I'm healthy, I will play in Europe as long as possible – and then move on. We will see."
Being based in Munich places Lewandowski in the city where Polish football enjoyed its finest moments – a gold medal at the 1972 Olympics followed by a third-place finish at the 1974 World Cup, with Grzegorz Lato plundering seven goals in the latter tournament.
"That kind of tally gives you immortality," Lewandowski acknowledged.
"Times have changed, though, and from that perspective seven goals is very hard to beat. It is harder near the penalty box now.
"To score five or six goals at such a tournament is a huge task. Two years ago, at Euro 2016, I only had two or three good chances and scored one of them.
"Defenders give special attention to me and that can obviously happen again in Russia. If that is the case, I just want our team [to] benefit from it.
"History is history and it is nice to look back and remember, but we want to be remembered and write our own history. We will fight for beautiful memories."
16. Juli 2018
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