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‘I haven’t hit my peak yet’ – Bayern’s Lewandowski targets playing career well beyond 35 years old

Robert Lewandowski says the Ballon d’Or is not his focus but that “anything is possible” when it comes to winning the award, while insisting that his best years are still ahead of him.

The Bayern Munich striker has never been in the top three for football’s most prestigious individual prize, his best record coming when he finished fourth in the standings in 2015.

The 31-year-old is likely to be in the running for the 2020 prize, though, having scored 45 goals in all competitions to put Bayern on the brink of another Bundesliga title.

Should Hansi Flick’s side also win the DFB-Pokal and Champions League this term, Lewandowski would be a strong candidate to become just the second player other than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to win the award since 2007.

“I was at the award ceremony last December,” Lewandowski told France Football.

“We’ll see. What I try to do is to always show the best of myself, win trophies and score more goals. But that’s something that comes with collective trophies. That’s the most important thing.

“I don’t even think about the Ballon d’Or, even if, in my life, I believe that anything is possible.

“I am not yet in the best period of my career. Soon (I’ll be). But all of these are just numbers. I am confident that the best moment of my career will come quickly. I know this is not my last contract. I want to play longer and stay in shape.

“I have all the time in front of me to think about the future, but I feel really good. I’m going to celebrate my 32th birthday next August, but that doesn’t mean that I feel this age.

“For me, it doesn’t matter in terms of everything I do, my involvement in and outside of football. What I want is not just staying on top for the next two or three years, I’m looking at the longer term.”

Lewandowski puts his spectacular form down to a careful regimen of diet and training to keep mentally and physically sharp.

“I don’t eat meat on the day of a match. It’s too heavy for my body. I eat light – that’s what I need,” he explained.

“The meal depends on several things: when is the game, what time is it…

“If you eat rice or pasta, it will bring you big benefits in terms of energy in the very short term. But, over time, you gain nothing.

“It’s not easy [to score] especially when you are tired. With 90 per cent of goals, it’s the head that does the work and it’s influenced by your level of concentration.

“If you’re tired, your thinking will automatically be slower. In the penalty area, we have only 0.1 seconds, maybe 0.2, to think, make our decision and interact with the ball.

“That’s why we come to training, because there is no other place to build automatic movements and shots. Whether it’s left foot, right foot, whatever, you have to be ready. You don’t even have to think about it – you have to do it.”

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