FIFA World Cup 2018: Robert Lewandowski says he's ready to 'do the donkey work' to help Poland top their group

Warsaw: Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski says he is prepared to do the "donkey work" for Poland as team captain at the FIFA World Cup 2018, as he plots a strategy to put his country on top of Group H.

"I know that sometimes I'll have to do the donkey work for the good of the team," the 29-year-old Bundesliga star said in an interview posted to Poland's Wirtualna Polska news website on Friday.

With 16 goals in 10 appearances on the road to Russia, Lewandowski was the top scorer in Europe's 2018 World Cup qualifiers as Poland, currently ranked 10th in the world, finished top of their group.

File image of Robert Lewandowski. Reuters

File image of Robert Lewandowski. Reuters

"Opponents will be focused on me and on how to stop me, but what I'm going to try to do when I know that I have one or two players who are guarding me, is to create opportunities for my teammates to score," said Lewandowski, who is currently training in Arlamow, southern Poland.

"This is how we'll take advantage of it. That's how it was in France," Lewandowski said, referring to Euro 2016 where Poland lost to eventual champions Portugal in the quarter-finals on penalties.

"We have to be prepared to take advantage of the loopholes that will appear when the rival team will be more focused on me," added Lewandowski, whose manager stirred up transfer rumours this week saying the Bayern star wanted to leave the club, where his contract ends in 2021, for a "new challenge".

"As captain, I'll always think about the team. The good of the team is always the most important," he said, after telling reporters earlier this week that he "was not thinking about club matters."

"That's what my manager is for," added Lewandowski who is nicknamed "Lewy", or "Leftie", in Poland.

Poland are headed to Russia with a burning desire to improve on their third-place finishes at the 1974 and 1982 finals.

Under head coach Adam Nawalka, they have a realistic chance of qualifying from Group H, opening their campaign against Senegal in Moscow on 19 June before facing Colombia and Japan.

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Updated Date: Jun 02, 2018 00:04:57 IST

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