Lewandowski, Lewandowski everywhere

Lewandowski

Oh my God, Is that Robert Lewandowski?

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Robert Lewandowski is literally everywhere on the internet since last night’s amazing 5 goal haul in under ten minutes for Bayern Munich vs Wolfsburg.  Indeed waking up in the morning and turning on Twitter I was reminded of the Oatmeal illustration from the start of the 2014 World Cup where a person opens his laptop and is drowned by a flurry of flying footballs.  Likewise since last night we’ve been inundated with Robert Lewandowski articles and paraphernalia, it is slightly unnerving.

Oatmeal

For the international observer the paeans to Lewandowski are easier to take, Lewandowski’s smiling image only enters your consciousness when he undertakes some new scoring feat.  In Poland he is quite literally everywhere, walking down the street Lewandowski’s eyes follow you from nearby billboards as you rush to get the bus, Lewandowski and his beautiful wife Anna beam out at you from magazine cover after magazine cover when you simply want to buy a bottle of water.  If anything, no matter how banal happens to him – injury – goal – public visit – he is quite likely to be on the front cover of the main Polish sports daily Przegląd Sportowy.

Of course football stardom and its link to commercialism is nothing new – since the flood of money that has come into the sport since the spread of satellite television deals in the 1990s, there has been a sharp move towards the celebrity footballer.  The classic example in England being Beckham mania in the mid-noughties when it was difficult to avoid David and his wife Victoria.  However even those times now seem innocent compared to the sheer amount of football celebrity related imagery which currently attacks us from every angle.

The fault for this is of course the internet and more precisely social media – a wonderful tool for debate and interaction but also something that can make the most exciting human achievement seem inane and overhyped within the space of several hundred tweets and shared Facebook posts.  The level of celebrity football-related dross that surrounds us is immense, Leo Messi meets a little kid somewhere, CR7 invites Real Madrid fans to watch him get his haircut, Robert Lewandowski drinks a smoothie in a Warsaw cafe – it really gets too much sometimes.

Before I get accused of being a kill-joy or an old curmudgeon I don’t begrudge Robert Lewandowski his success, I’m happy for him and I admire the performance level that he is able to reproduce week after week.  I just need a break from it at times – or maybe I should buy myself a Bayern Munich shirt, a smoothie and a lifestyle magazine and just relax.  Yes, perhaps that’s what I should do.

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