ROBERT Lewandowski has written a letter to Borussia Dortmund fans promising to give his all for the club before his summer switch to Bayern Munich.
The Poland striker’s long-anticipated move to Bayern was confirmed on Saturday when he put pen to paper on a five-year deal with Dortmund’s Bundesliga rivals from the start of next season.
Until then, however, he is committed to the Westphalians and has vowed to help them reach their goals for the season.
“Dear BVB fans, I would like to send you a short message,” he wrote on the Dortmund website.
“We have half a year ahead of us in which we have several objectives which we want to reach together.
“Even if there are going to be some fans among you who do not agree with my decision, I hope you still give me your support. I will definitely give everything for BVB!”
Lewandowski treads the same path as Mario Gotze did last summer, although the timing of his announcement, and the fact a move was widely expected since he had already told Dortmund he would not be extending his contract, means he may escape the same kind of treatment Gotze received.
Gotze’s €37 million transfer to Bayern was leaked on the eve of Dortmund’s Champions League semi-final tie with Real Madrid – and the Germany international subsequently incurred the wrath of the Dortmund faithful.
Lewandowski’s move is another heart-breaking one for Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp.
On Saturday, Bayern’s chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in a statement: “We are satisfied that this transfer has gone through.
“Robert Lewandowski is one of the best forwards in the world, and he will strengthen the Bayern squad.”
Lewandowski’s switch has not created the same shockwaves in Dortmund as it had been expected for a long time but it is still a bitter pill for Klopp and baffling for their fans.
Dortmund have one of the most loyal fanbases in Europe with about 80,000 regularly filling their stadium, including the 25,000 who pack the famous Suedtribune’s standing area.
Lewandowski’s move to Munich will add to concerns about Bayern’s growing dominance in Germany, though. They won the Bundesliga by a massive 25-point margin from Dortmund last season and lead this season’s championship by seven points at the halfway mark with an unbeaten record. The clinical Poland international will have to battle for his place as Bayern tend to field only one striker at most, with Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic the favoured choice at present.
While Bayern have continually strengthened their squad in the last few seasons, Dortmund have lost several top players, including Japan’s Shinji Kagawa who joined Manchester United.
Like Goetze, Lewandowski was instrumental in helping Dortmund win successive Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012. However, he made it clear in September that he wanted to join Bayern and a move was widely seen in Germany as just a matter of time.
Lewandowski fell out with Dortmund’s management over his failed attempt to join the treble winners in the close season but later said ties with the club had been mended – and he accepted the fact he would spend one more season there.
The player, whose pace and control make him perfect for Dortmund’s high-tempo game, has scored 11 league goals so far this term. He was the Bundesliga’s third-highest scorer with 22 in 2011/12 and second in the scoring charts with 24 last season.