Who benefits the most from Lucas Barrios Injury? Poland and Robert Lewandowski. Now, this is normally not the answer you would think of. Look at the events that have transpired.
Six months ago, Borussia Dortmand won the Bundesliga, the youngest team ever to lift that coveted sliver plate. Barrios, was a prominent member of that squad, scoring 16 goals as the teams leading goal scorer. Fast forward to the 2011 Copa America. Barrios helps his nation of Paraguay reach the finals, where they were routed by Diego Forlan and Urguay. Coming off a championship season, then entering a major tournament for a Country can take a toll on the body, and Barrios was no different. Barrios suffered a deep thigh injury during this tournament, and reportedly only healed just now. When Dortmand was on their way todefend their title they faced Barrios'injury as well as Mohammed Zidan and his next hair style. There was only one other person to look to.....Robert Lewandowski, the Polish striker.
To say that Lewandowski has filled this position quite nicely is an understatement. last season, Lewandowski was a super sub for Dortmand, often disapointed with his results, just counting down the days until Euro 2012 where hopefully, he could help Poland. Now, he is turning a page, and for the better.
Over the past tournaments,the 2006 World Cup, and 2008 Euro (Poland failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup due to an epic collapse that saw the Poles fall from second in qualifying, to second to last allowing Slovakia and Slovenia to advance) Poland has lacked two key elements. The first, is common sense. For example, Poland blew it's one goal lead against Austria in Euro 2008. How? After the ref warned then Polish captain Jacek Bak to not to shove a player in the box on a free kick, he then again went and shoved a player in the box, resulting in a yellow card, and Austria tieing the game on a penatly and thus eliminating Poland's chance of advancing.
The second factor, a dominating striker. Poland's ONLY goal in Euro 2008 came from Roger Guerreiro, a nationalized citizen from Brazil. Poland needs a man that can score, and bring the fans in the stands to their feet and cheer until they lose thier voice. Not since the 1970's has Poland had a striker
with this much swagger. Robert Lewandowski, is that striker. He is now showcasing his talents on the grand stage, having already recorded eight goals, in the Bundesliga, the German Cup and in the Champions Leage.
Barrios has sinced returned from injury, but has yet to play a match. Dortmand says they are not pushing the issue, but it is hard to replace a player who is scoring goals for you. What make this even better? He plays reguraly with Poland's right back Lukasz Piszczek and Poland's Captain, Jakub (Kuba) Blaszczykowski. Poland having a striker in form, coming off a season with double digit goals will be impactful.
Poland will host it's very first major athletic tournament in June, this country has been preparing since the day they were awarded this tournament. The striker leads the way on the pitch, and Lewandowski will lead a Polish nation.