Five players who starred against former clubs as Lewandowski awaits Bayern reunion

By Sports Desk August 25, 2022

The draw for the group stages of the 2022-23 Champions League has thrown up major talking points with Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland set for reunions with their former employers.

Lewandowski's Barcelona will face Bayern Munich, while Haaland returns to Borussia Dortmund now donning the shirt of Manchester City.

Having scored 344 goals for Bayern, with whom he won eight consecutive Bundesliga titles and the Champions League in 2019-20, the German giants will be fearful of the threat Lewandowski will pose.

Players coming toe-to-toe with their former clubs is nothing new and Stats Perform has selected five memorable occasions from years gone by.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Having left Manchester United in 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo faced off against the Red Devils for the first time in the first knockout round of the 2012-13 Champions League, scoring in both legs.

Five years later, in the 2018-19 group stages of the competition, Ronaldo this time played against United for Juventus, scoring in a 2-1 defeat in Turin.

During his illustrious career, Ronaldo also went up against Sporting CP, the club where he started his career, scoring three goals in four matches.

Luis Figo

Luis Figo's controversial move from Barcelona to Real Madrid in 2000 is now the focus of a Netflix documentary and, to this day, still stands as one of the most shocking transfers in football history.

Two years later, in November 2002, Figo returned to Camp Nou for the second time and received a fiery reception from the home supporters, who threw numerous objects towards the Portuguese star. Most notable was a pig's head.

Figo spent five years in the Spanish capital, winning LaLiga twice and the Champions League in 2001-02.

Robin van Persie 

Signed as a youngster by Arsenal, Robin van Persie grew to become one of the greatest players in the Arsene Wenger era and captained the side from 2011 after Cesc Fabregas' move to Barcelona.

A move to Manchester United came just a year later, however, with the Dutch striker going on to score home and away against the Gunners, celebrating at Old Trafford after abuse from the visiting fans.

The biggest pain he inflicted on Arsenal came in the Premier League. United won the title following his signing, with the Arsenal squad giving them a guard of honour at the end of the campaign.

James Rodriguez

Signed by Real Madrid after starring at the 2014 World Cup, the Colombian's stint in the Spanish capital was not as he would have hoped. He became an expendable asset, which saw him sent to Bayern Munich for two years in 2017.

In the semi-finals of the 2017-18 Champions League, the loanee faced his parent club and scored in a 2-2 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu, with there being no clause preventing him from featuring in the game.

Bayern lost 4-3 on aggregate, however, with Madrid going on to win the title that season.

Robert Lewandowski

Facing familiar opposition is nothing new for Lewandowski, who had to do it time and time again during his spell with Bayern Munich.

The Poland international was devastating against Borussia Dortmund for Bayern, scoring 27 goals in 26 games. That included two hat-tricks in the Bundesliga, one of which came in a 6-0 demolition in the 2017-18 season.

 

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