All eyes on Lewandowski in London

Posted by Dan Riccio, ESPN Stats & Information

Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski will take center stage when Saturday's UEFA Champions League final kicks off from London.

The Polish international will lead the charge for Dortmund in an all-German final, only the fourth time a European Cup has been decided between clubs from the same country.

Dortmund is led by a strong contingent from Poland that includes international captain Jakub "Kuba" Blaszczykowski, who led the team in assists and scored 11 goals this Bundesliga campaign. Fellow countryman Lukasz Piszczek enters the match leading all Champions League defenders with 13 scoring chances created in the attacking penalty area.

On Saturday, however, it will be Lewandowski who garners all the attention.

To this point, the striker has maintained a modest profile on the European radar. His most famous moment came last summer when he scored the opening goal of Euro 2012 for tournament co-host Poland.

Now Lewandowski is poised to join Europe’s elite amid rumors that he could sign with Manchester United or Saturday’s fierce rival Bayern Munich at the end of his current contract.

This year’s runner-up for the Bundesliga scoring title, Lewandowski finished the season with 24 league goals, the best performance by a Dortmund player in 32 years.

His five multigoal games were tops in the Bundesliga, and only Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Willian joined him with multiple such games in Champions League play. Ronaldo (12) is the only player with more goals in the Champions League than Lewandowski (10).

Lewandowski was a revelation against Real Madrid as he became the first player in Champions League history to score four goals in a semifinal match.

He has scored all 10 goals from his right foot and all from within the penalty area, both tops in the Champions League.

He has been relentless on attack, averaging 3.3 shots per game from within the penalty area. Only Robin van Persie and Ronaldo have averaged more in the Champions League this season.

Meanwhile, Munich has allowed just 4.3 shots per game from within the penalty area, tops in the Champions League and the first time in three seasons that Barcelona did not lead that category.

With Bayern’s future star Mario Gotze ruled out due to injury, the Reds will need to curb Lewandowski’s supply from midfielder Marco Reus. Combined in Champions League and Bundesliga play, Reus connected with the striker on 30 passes into the attacking penalty area -- none more spectacular than a no-look back heel that Lewandowski buried to draw 1-1 with Malaga. Reus trailed only Gotze, who had 33 such passes, as the most among Dortmund players.

With Gotze’s move to Bayern already confirmed and Lewandowski rumored to follow, there will be plenty of soap opera storylines Saturday. For at least one more day, though, Lewandowski will wear the Borussia Dortmund kit and could be their hope for a hero. He will be tasked with driving deep into the Munich defense, and if successful, Dortmund will join Bayern as only the second German club with multiple European crowns.

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