Not everyone’s canceled flight ends up being a sliding-door moment, but it was certainly the case for Robert Lewandowski in 2010, when he nearly made a Premier League move with Blackburn Rovers.
Lewandowski looks set to leave Bayern Munich this summer, having joined them in 2014 and becoming one of the best strikers in the world.
However, the Polish striker might never have reached Bayern if things had been different at the start of 2010 when he was supposed to move to England.
Sam Allardyce had been to see the striker, in order to convince him to make the move, but an inability to travel to see the facilities ended Rovers’ chances of securing the then 21-year-old.
“I had the opportunity to join Blackburn, but I wanted to see what Blackburn was like, the training ground, the place where I met Sam Allardyce,” the striker revealed last year.
“It was in Poland after a game. I thought he was a good guy, a very good coach.
“He was ready to take on a young player who was something new and could be something special.
“He wanted to come to Poland to see me. It was good.”
Lewandowski continued: “There were a lot of offers to think about when I was leaving Poznan. I wanted to know if I was going, ‘What would I get? What would I learn?’
“I think it would have been good if I had gone to Blackburn, but I would have liked to go and see the training centre, the stadium. I couldn’t go because of the cloud. It was the volcano The volcano with the ash cloud.
“It was a week and nobody could fly to Europe. The flight was booked, but we couldn’t leave. It changed my life. If I had gone to Blackburn, I might have stayed there.”
Instead of heading to England, the Poznan striker instead headed to Germany once the season ended, moving to Borussia Dortmund for around £5million.
There he scored 103 goals in 187 games for the Bundesliga club, winning the league twice and helping the club reach a Champions League final, losing to Bayern.
Lewandowski’s incredible time at Dortmund won him a transfer to rivals Bayern in 2014 and he scored 344 times in 375 appearances, was denied a Ballon d’Or he should have won and beaten many records.
How different things could have been had it not been for an ash cloud in Iceland…