Robert Lewandowski: Barcelona and Poland star to wear Ukrainian armband at World Cup
During an event at the Stadion Narodowy in Warsaw on Tuesday, the two famed strikers embraced as Shevchenko fastened the blue and yellow armband to Lewandowski’s arm.
“I’m very proud because I know what it means to support Ukraine’s people,” Lewandowski said.
“I know what it means to fight for freedom, we know the history, our history and that’s why it was clear to help our neighbors, to help the people from Ukraine and I’m very proud to wear this armband and to be on this side. I’m very glad and very grateful for everything.”
Lewandowski has long been among Ukraine’s supporters, calling for Poland to boycott its World Cup qualifying match against Russia just days after the war began.
When he played for Bayern Munich, the Polish captain wore a Ukrainian armband while his teammates wore black armbands to commemorate those killed in the war.
“First of all, I want to thank Robert for everything he’s been doing for my country,” Shevchenko said. “And I give this armband to him: this armband represents pride, power, some attachment to Ukraine.”
Football has assumed added importance in Ukraine in recent months.
“I think to be athletes, we have a very strong voice to tell the truth to the people, to keep awareness about what’s going on in Ukraine and tell the truth about (it),” Shevchenko added.
“I know that when I wear for the first time this armband,” Lewandowski said, “if some people heard about what I did, for me, it will also be an amazing feeling, amazing time because I know that sport — also people watch, for example, football and different sport as well — and if they know what is going on, it’ll be easier to understand the situation.”
Lewandowski will next take to the field with Poland on Thursday night in a Nations League match against The Netherlands.