Robert Lewandowski left with an egg on his face as comments flop
Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski has been left with the egg on his face, and some of his first comments after joining the club have backfired brutally this week. For the second consecutive season, Barcelona have been eliminated from the Champions League in the group stage.
On Wednesday, Inter Milan’s comfortable 4-0 win against Viktoria Plzen was enough to confirm their passage to the round of 16 at Barcelona’s expense. And later, Bayern Munich rubbed salt in the wounds with a 3-0 win at the Camp Nou, their sixth successive victory over Barça by a 24-4 aggregate scoreline.
After Lewandowski parted ways with Bayern in a £42.5m deal in the summer, the 34-year-old insisted Barcelona had a positive season amid a flurry of exciting transfer activity. However, Lewandowski has been sentenced to Europa League football while Bayern topped their group again and looks like a real Champions League contender.
He said: “Barcelona had problems last season. But the club has incredible potential and has made good transfers now. I think the club is on the right track – to get back to the top. My goal is very clear to get there with the Barça and win trophies!”
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Barça will be shocked by their failure to qualify for the round of 16 after activating various economic levers to strengthen Xavi Hernández’s team. But Lewandowski, Franck Kessie, Raphinha and company could not save the Blaugrana from another dismal European campaign, something that had become strange for the former during his time at Bayern.
Barcelona, once considered one of the main contenders in the competitions. It suffered the same fate last season, finishing third in Group E behind winners Bayern and Benfica and falling out of the Europa League. They reached the quarter-finals before falling in a 4-3 aggregate loss to eventual champions Eintracht Frankfurt.
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Only Kylian Mbappé and Mohamed Salah (both with six) have surpassed Lewandowski’s five goals in the Champions League group stage this season. But after next week’s trip to Viktoria Plzen, the prolific Pole won’t get another chance to extend his total this season.
Lewandowski will surely regret his confident comments after signing for Barcelona, unaware of the humiliating early exit that lies ahead. However, he is likely to see the Europa League as another chance to win trophies, joining the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo in what is shaping up to be a star-studded knockout line-up.
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