Champions League: The Rise of Borussia Dortmund Striker Robert Lewandowski

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterApril 25, 2013

MALAGA, SPAIN - APRIL 03:  Willy Caballero of Malaga CF blocks the ball to Robert Lewandowski of Borussia Dortmund during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg match between Malaga CF and Borussia Dortmund at La Rosaleda Stadium on April 3, 2013 in Malaga, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Mother Nature can play some cruel tricks at times, but Blackburn Rovers have more reason than most to wave an angry fist in her direction.

Former Ewood Park manager Sam Allardyce had invited Lech Poznan striker Robert Lewandowski to discuss terms with the Lancashire club in April 2010.

The then 22-year-old was all prepared to travel to watch Rovers take on Everton but was left stranded in his native country when flights were cancelled due to the ash cloud that had billowed out of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajoekull (BBC News).

As a result, Blackburn lost their footing in the race against Genoa and Borussia Dortmund to sign Lewandowski (ESPN).

Instead, the Poland forward joined Dortmund where his career has erupted, while Blackburn sacked Allardyce six months later and stood on the precipice of a fall into the third tier of English football until their midweek win at Millwall.

Plain misfortune cost Blackburn and Allardyce, but poor decision-making also allowed Dortmund to reap the benefits of signing Lewandowski at the expense of some Premier League teams.

Ex-Scotland striker Steve Archibald revealed via his Twitter account (@SteveArchibald8) that his former club, Tottenham, had rejected the Pole when he was offered to them.

Former West Brom manager Tony Mowbray attempted to sign Lewandowski in 2008 until the forward decided on another season in Poland to further his career (Daily Mail).

Mowbray again tried to sign the Poland international when during his ill-fated reign at Celtic. But an asking price of £4 million was enough to put the Parkhead club off the deal. Mowbray was sacked as Celtic manager in March 2010 after less than a season at the club.

But the fall of Allardyce and Mowbray mirrored the incline for Lewandowski after his arrival at the Westfalenstadion in 2010.

Lewandowski played second fiddle to Lucas Barrios in his first season with Dortmund, with the Paraguay international in stunning form as Juergen Klopp's team raced to the Bundesliga title.

However, an injury to Barrios during the following campaign gifted Lewandowski his chance, and he readily accepted, scoring 22 times in 34 Bundesliga appearances to help his team to a second successive title triumph.

The striker has been in even better goalscoring form this season, despite Dortmund falling 20 points behind Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich. Lewandowski has, so far, struck 35 times in 44 appearances in all competitions (

Now Lewandowski appears to be on the verge of another transfer, with Manchester United and Bayern vying for his signature.

Klopp remained hopeful that the striker would stay at the club following his four-goal demolition of Real Madrid in the Champions League semifinal first leg (BBC Sport), but later comments from the player's representative, Maik Barthel (Sport Bild, via, indicate a change is on the way.

No matter where Lewandowski ends up next season, football supporters in one half of East Lancashire will have further reason to reject a holiday in Reykjavik.