Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski says he considered joining Manchester United when he received a call from Sir Alex Ferguson.
Lewandowski got the call in 2012, when he was 23 and had just scored 30 goals in all competitions in his second season at former club Borussia Dortmund.
The Poland international, now 31, says Ferguson’s reputation meant he had to consider the move – but Dortmund quickly snuffed it out.
“I was speaking with him [Ferguson] after two years at Dortmund and at that time I was really thinking about a move to Manchester United,” Lewandowski told the Guardian.
“Because of Ferguson and because of Manchester United.
“Borussia Dortmund said: ‘No, that’s that.’ That was the first time I was thinking about the move because if you get a phone call from Sir Alex Ferguson, for a young player it was something amazing. That was a special day for me.”
Lewandowski eventually moved to Bayern two years later where, having left the tutelage of Jurgen Klopp, he worked under Pep Guardiola – a pair he says would be ‘perfection’ if their talents were combined.
He has also been linked with moves away throughout his stay at Bayern, most frequently with Real Madrid.
Now he is settled and enjoying his football. At 31, he is set for his most prolific season ever, and he says he wants to stay at the top level for as long as he can.
“I want to play for a long time,” he added.
“I don’t feel 31 years old and everything I am doing now is working to keep me in top for the next five, six years.
“I don’t want to be a striker who spends 90 minutes in the box waiting for the ball. I don’t like just getting the ball 10 times during a game. It’s not enough for me; I find those games difficult.
“Sometimes you have to be there waiting for the ball and if you get it once in the 90 minutes you have to be ready.
“But I say: ‘I want to be part of the team, of the game, I want to move and pass and not just wait for the ball.’
“That’s why I am always looking for space to get the ball and find my teammates. I can work on everything still. But one thing? Maybe to shoot from distance.”