BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Breakfast, coaching, targets.
Offered to round 60,000 Barcelona followers on the Camp Nou stadium on Friday, Poland striker Robert Lewandowski was assured he nonetheless had the starvation and talent at 33 years outdated to assist the Catalan membership revive its fortunes.
“First, I’m gonna eat breakfast so I gained’t be hungry anymore after which I’m going for the coaching session,” Lewandowski mentioned when requested what will get him up every day. “In fact, you already know, it’s simpler for me as a result of I’m doing what I like. I’ve to say after so a few years I nonetheless have this sense, I nonetheless need to do much more … As long as I get up and I don’t really feel the ache, (and) I really feel this starvation, which means I can nonetheless play on the prime stage.”
Barcelona has entrusted its revival to the veteran Poland striker who, after eight extremely profitable seasons with Bayern Munich, selected to open a brand new chapter in his profession by transferring to Spain.
However he does so at a important second, when Lewandowski can preserve his standing as among the best scorers within the sport or start slipping into the twilight of his profession.
Barcelona’s success this season may hinge on which path he goes down.
Lewandowski turns 34 one week after Barcelona opens the season in opposition to Rayo Vallecano on Aug. 13.
“My age doesn’t matter,” Lewandowski mentioned. “My physique doesn’t really feel that I’m 33 and virtually 34 years as a result of I do know that I can nonetheless play a number of years on the prime stage. I really feel higher even than once I was 29 years outdated.”
The disclosing at Barcelona’s stadium was the primary likelihood for Spanish followers to see Lewandowski in particular person. He signed a four-year contract with the Catalan membership two weeks in the past after becoming a member of Barcelona on its preseason tour of the USA following his 50 million euro ($50 million) switch from Bayern.
Round 60,000 followers have been allotted free tickets to see Lewandowski put on his new No. 9 shirt on the new and humid Camp Nou discipline.
The striker, who topped the Bundesliga scoring charts in seven seasons, arrives with Barcelona hoping desperately to rebound after just one trophy in its final three seasons — the Copa del Rey in 2021 — and nothing in any respect in its final marketing campaign.
Barcelona has needed to dump a piece of its tv rights and a part of its personal manufacturing firm to get the money it wanted to signal Lewandowski, defender Jules Koundé and winger Raphinha. So the strain is on for Xavi Hernández’s aspect to reply with trophies.
Lewandowski mentioned he’s motivated by the problem, which incorporates having to compete in opposition to Barcelona’s fierce rival Actual Madrid, the winner of each the Spanish league and Champions League final season.
If any workforce marked the course of Barcelona’s fall from the elite of European soccer lately it was Lewandowski’s Bayern. The German powerhouse dealt Barcelona a humiliating 8-2 defeat in 2020 and beat it twice within the Champions League final season on a mixed 6-0 rating on the group stage.
Now Lewandowski hopes not solely his targets, but in addition his information of the sport, will assist Barcelona’s youthful gamers resembling youngsters Pedi González, Ansu Fati and Gavi Páez.
“I do know we’ve quite a lot of younger gamers with big potential they usually have an enormous expertise as properly. However in the long run, this combine between expertise and the younger gamers can be necessary,” Lewandowski mentioned. “I can inform them and clarify (issues to them) as a result of I noticed lots in my life in soccer.”
Lewandowski’s unveiling got here precisely one yr after Barcelona surprised its followers and the remainder of the soccer world by saying that it was financially unimaginable for the debt-ridden membership to signal Lionel Messi to a brand new contract, even when the soccer nice was able to take a pay reduce. The membership’s all-time main scorer walked away at no cost to Paris Saint-Germain.
That was the primary of a number of troublesome selections membership president Joan Laporta has needed to make to attempt to save the membership that’s burdened with $1 billion of debt blamed on his predecessor.
Laporta known as the arrival of Lewandowski a “historic day.”
“One yr in the past we needed to sadly make an announcement that was not wished because of the financial scenario of the membership,” Laporta mentioned. “However a yr has handed, and we are able to say that we’re turning this case round. Now we have come out of the hospital and are in higher well being.”
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