With the ball under his arm, after his first hat-trick in a Barcelona shirt in his Champions League debut as a Barca player, Lewandowski received congratulations from each of his teammates. The Pole became the first player to score three goals in a match for three different teams in the European Cup (Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Barcelona). “I talked about it with my colleagues. Robert is a gift. He today he has shown it again with a hat-trick. He is going to give us a lot of goals”, pointed out Sergi Roberto. Xavi joined the compliments for the Barca 9: “Robert is like that. He is insatiable.” With his hat-trick against Viktoria Pilsen, Lewandowski has 87 goals in the European Cup and, after beating Benzema, he became the third best scorer in Orejona history. Ahead, he has Cristiano Ronaldo (141) and Lionel Messi (125).
Ter Stegen, Kounde, Alba, Sergi Roberto (Pique, min. 45), A. Christensen, Kessie Franck (Pablo Torre, min. 80), Frenkie De Jong, Pedri (Gavi, min. 74), Ousmane Dembele (Depay, min. 74), Ansu Fati (Ferran Torres, min. 65) and Lewandowski
Jindrich Stanek, Ludek Pernica, Milan Havel, Hejda, Vaclav Jemelka (Libor Holik, min. 85), Adam Vlkanova, Pavel Bucha, John Mosquera (Erik Jirka, min. 78), Jan Sykora (Vaclav Pilar, min. 78), Lukas Kalvach and Tomas Chory (Fortune Akpan Bassey, min. 65)
goals 1-0 min. 12: Kessie Franck. 2-0 min. 33: Lewandowski. 2-1 min. 43: Jan Sykora. 3-1 min. 47: Lewandowski. 4-1 min. 66: Lewandowski. 5-1 min. 70: Ferran Torres.
Referee Lawrence Visser
Yellow cards Ludek Pernica (min. 3), John Mosquera (min. 26), Tomas Chory (min. 55) and Vaclav Jemelka (min. 61)
Xavi, in any case, did not forget Messi: “The mourning of the departure of the best player in history will never end. Now there are other footballers called to make a difference”. The coach, however, highlighted the new Camp Nou franchise player. “It’s not just the hat-trick It’s how he trains, how he works on the pitch, how he helps teammates, how he orders. He knows how to dominate the times of the match. He is a fantastic signing. I’m running out of praise”, added Xavi. The Barca coach, precisely, had insisted on the incorporation of a 9. And, with the possibility of signing Haaland falling, Barcelona looked at Lewandowski, 34, who did not receive the renewal offer from Bayern (his contract expired in 2023). “We did not doubt Robert. We knew of his ability. He is very humble and he had a tremendous desire to come to Barca, ”said Xavi.
“We had to suffer Lewandowski for several seasons. He has a special connection with the team and with the fans. He has shown the ambition that he has. He is going to give us a lot of things, he is a great person and professional”, insisted Sergi Roberto, who made his debut as a starter this Wednesday. The youth squad, with muscular discomfort, did not complete the match. “In principle, it’s nothing important,” he said. Instead, Gerard Pique jumped onto the field. The center-back, applauded by the fans, played the first minutes of the campaign. “People are very excited. We all have to be very united, the fans are very passionate about the team. And I am very happy. It had been almost a year since he started as a starter. I try to add”, completed Sergi Roberto. He was not the only one who left the Camp Nou with a smile.
Barca’s debut in the Champions League brought a revolution in the eleven: six changes compared to the team that took the field in the last game in the League against Sevilla. But no appearance generated as much illusion as that of Ansu Fati. The youth squad, who has been through an ordeal with injuries in the last two seasons and whom Xavi was cautiously seeking to bring back, played for the first time as a starter after 10 months. “Ansu is ready. I have spoken with him this week and he is fine, very well physically. When he has left he has done very well and has made a difference, especially in San Sebastian. It’s one more match for him and for everyone to prove”, stated Xavi before the match. The coach had agreed with Fati that he would play for an hour. “Ferran Torres replaced him. The team had been working very well. You have to take advantage of every opportunity, you never know when the next one will be. I am very happy with the goal and the assist. Competition makes you better, it makes you more alert”, analyzed the former Valencia player.
“Full match. We dominated the entire match. They defended well, but we created many situations. Dembele was very good, Robert too and those in the middle understood when to create chances”, said Xavi. Especially affectionate with the French end. “He is at the level of the best Neymar. He had suffered a lot in recent years. He deserves it ”, completed the technician. Lewandowski, for his part, still doesn’t want to think about next Tuesday’s visit to the Bayern camp. “I feel great. The Champions is special. For us it is important to stay focused and keep scoring. I’m not thinking about the game against Bayern. It will be very difficult”, concluded the Polish striker, who has scored eight goals in five games for Barca.
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Source: EL PAIS