Robert Lewandowski has enjoyed a strong start to life at Barcelona, scoring 18 goals already, but has been left disappointed by the team’s early exit from the Champions League.
The Catalan giants have failed to qualify for the knockout stages for a second season running and Czesław Michniewicz, Lewandowski’s coach with the Poland national team, says the club’s failure in Europe has hurt the attacker, as reported by Diario Sport.
“If someone doubts it, but I don’t think anyone does, Lewandowski worries a lot. He calls me himself and tells me about the national team,” he said. “He was very upset for having been knocked out of the Champions League and wants to make amends even more with the national team.”
Barcelona’s failure in Europe’s top competition has seen the team drop into the Europa League. Xavi’s side must now face a play-off to reach the last 16 and have been drawn against Manchester United.
Meanwhile, Lewandowski will now link up with the Poland team for the World Cup. Michniewicz’s side have been drawn in Group C along with Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico.
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Lewandowski Rues Champions League ‘Mistakes’
Lewandowski has spoken about this season and the “mistakes” his team made in the Champions League. Barca finished third in their group behind Bayern Munich and Inter, but Lewandowski is optimstic about the future, as reported by Sport.
“In La Liga we are doing well and in the Champions League some mistakes were made that saw us go out,” he said “But games like the one at Mestalla or the one at Osasuna show that the team has faith and a lot of desire to win. We are going to achieve it.”
The striker also urged supporters to be patient due to the rebuilding process that is currently going on at the club as club legend Xavi tries to mould his squad in his first full season in charge.
“I’m proud to belong to a club that is more than a club. We are on the way to doing great things and I am convinced that next year will be very good for us,” he added. “We have to be patient because we are in a period of construction and adaptation.”
Xavi Agrees With Lewandowski
Xavi has unsurprisingly admitted he agrees with Lewandowski. The boss told a news conference that a club of Barca’s stature should not be going out of the Champions League at the first hurdle, as reported by Diario AS.
“Obviously I’m not happy, Barcelona should be in the last 16,” he said. “Before coming to Barcelona I was already aware that the first season could be harder than it should be,” said Lewandowski. “We are in a process of reconstruction that needs time, we have to be more patient.”
Xavi also reacted to comments Lewandowski made about Barcelona needing to “learn how to win” and explained what he thought the summer signing meant in relation to the Catalans
“We lack that maturity and packaging as a team. We have a lot of youth and we’ve had the worst Champions League group in years, we’ve seen questionable refereeing decisions, we have had many injuries… which are not excuses but have hurt us,” he said. “But above all, we have not controlled these situations, perhaps at the most stressful moment of the competition to compete. I think that’s what Lewandowski is referring to.”
Barcelona will now take a break for the World Cup and are due back on December 31 when they host local rivals Espanyol at the Camp Nou.