Robert Lewandowski has credited new Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac with playing a large role in keeping him at the Bundesliga champions.
Lewandowski spent much of the summer looking for an exit from Bayern, with the striker’s agent declaring it was time for him to take up a new challenge.
Interest from the Premier League and Real Madrid followed, but the club were insistent they would not part with the reigning Bundesliga Golden Boot winner.
In an interview published Wednesday, Lewandowski told SportBild his frustrations with the club at the end of last season, saying he felt alone with no protection from critics.
However, he also declared his desire to remain thanks to the fans, and now has offered further credit to Bayern’s new head coach, Kovac, who left Eintracht Frankfurt to take over from Jupp Heynckes following the 2017-18 season.
"I had a really good discussion with Niko Kovac," Lewandowski told SportBild, in quotes published in the print edition. "He understood how I felt. The coach explained to me how he wanted to play. I liked that, and because of that decided I wanted to stay. My mind set changed that day.
"I know I’ve made mistakes, but I’m only human."
Lewandowski also says Bayern’s insistence the club would not let him leave, along with sporting director’s Hasan Salihamidzic’s praise in calling him the world’s best striker, played a big role in allowing him to recommit to the Bundesliga champions.
"I realised how important I am for Bayern and they weren’t going to let me leave," he explained. "That shows the level and stability of the club.
“That was the point I realised I wanted to give my all for the club once more. I’m looking forward to my future at the club and in Munich. My heart is fully at Bayern again."
While Lewandowski was frustrated by the criticism he received last season, he made no bones about wanting to improve on a frustrating finish to the season, which saw Bayern falter in the Champions League and the finals of the DFB-Pokal, along with the striker going goalless as Poland were eliminated from the World Cup in the group stage.
"The end of last season wasn’t good," Lewandowski said. "Not scoring in the semi-final against Real, losing the cup final, not scoring at the World Cup. That’s been motivation for me.
“I love playing football. I also know I need to work to be more successful. I want to push my boundaries and win more titles."