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Harry Wilson highlights Robert Lewandowski threat as Wales gear up for Poland showdown

23 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Wales’ Harry Wilson. Picture by Ben Birchall / PA Wire.

Harry Wilson admits Robert Lewandowski’s hunger for goals represents the biggest threat to Wales reaching Euro 2024.

Wales host Poland in a Euro 2024 play-off final at the Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday with a place in Germany this summer at stake.

Only one place separates the two nations in the FIFA world rankings – Wales are 29th, Poland 30th – but the visitors possess one of football’s greatest-ever goalscorers in their ranks.


Lewandowski has scored 82 goals for Poland and the 35-year-old Barcelona striker is the fourth overall men’s international goalscorer in Europe behind Romelu Lukaku (83), Ferenc Puskas (84) and Cristiano Ronaldo (128).

“Everyone knows how dangerous he is,” said Fulham forward Wilson.

“His hunger to score goals is the biggest thing about him and he’s scored everywhere he’s been in his career.

“He might not be getting younger, but if we give him half a sniff at goal he’s going to take it.

“We need to make sure we stop him and don’t give him space or chances.

“If we do that we’re confident with the quality in our dressing room going the other way that we can really hurt them.”

Lewandowski failed to score as Poland booked their final place by thrashing Estonia 5-1 in Warsaw on Thursday, with Wilson saying: “I’m not sure if that’s a good thing ahead of our game.”

Wales also coasted to an emphatic 4-1 semi-final victory over Finland, with Wilson showing the form that Fulham fans have become accustomed to at Craven Cottage.

Next level

“I feel I have moved to the next level,” said Wilson. “The move to Fulham two-and-a-half years ago now was a big one for me.

“I’d been on a lot of loans from Liverpool. Although my dream as a young lad was to make it into Liverpool’s first team and play regularly, I knew that wasn’t going to be the case.

“When I was 18, 19 and 20, I was trying to get into the team but they had, arguably, the best front three in the world (Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane).

“So all the loans I went on really helped me to grow as a player and learn the game. It got to a stage in my life where I wanted to get settled from a personal side of things as well.

“So when the Fulham move came up, I spoke to Marco Silva and I feel it’s been the perfect move.”

Wilson celebrated his 27th birthday on Friday and is now among the senior players in Rob Page’s squad, having won his 50th cap last October.

“A lot of the boys are still really young,” said Wilson, who is aiming to play at a third major tournament after Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup.

“Ethan (Ampadu) is still only 23 and has 50 caps. That shows the experience we’ve got.

“Big Wayne (Hennessey), Ben Davies and Wardy (Danny Ward) have all been to three major tournaments already.

“They’ve been there and done it so they know what these big games are like. They are always helping the younger boys.”

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