Lewandowski finished top scorer in the Bundesliga last season with 30 goals.
Lewandowski finished top scorer in the Bundesliga last season with 30 goals.

Lewandowski gunning for EURO glory

30 goals in his 32 Bundesliga outings, five of them coming in nine history-making minutes against VfL Wolfsburg; leader of the line for FC Bayern München on their way to an unprecedented fourth straight title, picking up his own second cannon as Bundesliga top scorer en route; the first foreign player ever to crack the 30-goal mark in Germany's top flight and the first from anywhere to do so in almost four decades. Little wonder that Robert Lewandowski is "incredibly happy" with his personal balance for the 2015/16 campaign. But the summer break is still on hold for the 27-year-old sharpshooter – next up, he is spearheading Poland's assault on Euro 2016 in France.

"Beating Germany in the qualifiers opened our eyes to the true potential of this team," Lewandowski said recently. Poland got their Euro qualifying campaign up and running with a 2-0 home victory over the freshly-crowned world champions. At the finals, the neighbour nations are about renew their acquaintance in Group C, alongside Ukraine and Northern Ireland, with the top two certain to progress to the Round of 16.

"I train with the Bayern players every day, so I know a lot of the German team very well. But it was important for us to realise we could beat the very best. That was a huge morale-booster," the Warsaw native explained. He has nonetheless been at pains to avoid setting a specific tournament target for the coming weeks – not least given Poland's disappointing showing at the 2012 finals they co-hosted, where "That pressure didn't help us."

This time around the team have a new skipper, in Lewandowski himself. "It's a big responsibility. When I put on the armband for the first time, I didn't realise what a big difference that little piece of material could make," he acknowledged. "You need to know how to handle it. Not many people understand the sheer level of determination and performance it requires. Not just physically, but mentally as well."