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Was Qatar 2022 Lewandowski’s last World Cup?

Although there is no certainty, the Barcelona striker has left all options open for another World Cup. Obviously, if Poland qualifies for the next one.

“It’s hard to say right now,” Robert Lewandowski replied at the end of the match between France and Poland in the Round of 16 of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, to the question many asked him: “Was this your last World Cup?”. The Barcelona striker left open the possibility of returning in four years’ time (at the 2026 World Cup) and continuing to fulfil his dream of scoring more goals at a World Cup.

“On a physical level, I’m not afraid to continue in the Poland national team with the 2026 World Cup in mind,” Lewandowski said, but “it’s hard to say right now,” he admitted after the 3-1 defeat to France in the ’round of 16′ in Qatar.

“There are so many things outside football to consider,” explained the 34-year-old star, who was playing in his second World Cup.

“Will I still enjoy it? It’s hard to say right now. But physically and athletically I’m not afraid. Several things will decide whether it was my last World Cup appearance or not,” he added.

With two goals and an assist, Kylian Mbappé was the architect of France’s 3-1 win over a willing Poland team in Doha on 4 December, a victory that sent Les Bleus into the quarter-finals of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

In the final minutes of a first half in which Poland put up more resistance than expected, Mbappé set up Olivier Giroud (44) to open the scoring and become Les Bleus’ all-time leading scorer, and then scored two almost identical goals to close out the match (74 and 90+1).

Polish star Robert Lewandowski saved his team’s honor by converting an extra-time penalty, which he should have retaken after missing the first attempt, but the referee ordered a retake because several French players had entered the box too early (90+9).

The FC Barcelona striker scored his first two goals at the World Cup in Qatar against Saudi Arabia and then from a penalty in the final match against France, which he celebrated as a victory despite being eliminated. Poland had not played in the last 16 of a World Cup since 1986.

“We fought hard, we gave our best, but it was not an easy match. Maybe if we had scored the first goal it would have been a different game,” he told his country’s media.

“When you play against the world champions, against France, it’s always difficult,” explained ‘Lewy’.

Although he has now refused to give an unequivocal answer, we can look for clues about Robert Lewandowski’s intentions in his previous interviews. Just two years ago, when he was still playing for Bayern Munich, the then 32-year-old striker said:

“I’m not thinking about the end of my career. I don’t feel like 32. I feel better than when I was 26. I’ve worked very specifically over the last few years to get to my optimum level.”

Asked how much longer he could play, the Bayern superstar replied, “I don’t know: “Maybe another eight years.”

The eight years from two years ago, when he stated this, will end in 2028, so Lewa has a good chance of also catching the 2026 US-Canada-Mexico World Cup, obviously, if his national team Poland qualifies.

The truth is that the Polish striker is not showing his age at all. Beyond his World Cup appearances and his first two goals on football’s biggest stage, Lewandowski has had a sensational first half of the season at Barcelona. After 14 games played in La Liga, in his first season with the Blaugrana, Lewandowski is the current top scorer in the Spanish league with 13 goals, five more than any other player. In addition to his 13 goals, the Pole also has four assists in Primera. Only two players have more: Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad) and Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), with six and five assists respectively.

That said, and taking all this information into account, we can say that there’s a better chance that Lewandowski will play at least one more World Cup than that WC 2022 was his last World Cup appearance. Obviously, we repeat on the condition that Poland also qualifies for the next finals.

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