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“This is not the Bundesliga!”: Former Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski’s rough start at FC Barcelona

Bundesliga tax? It sure looks like it.

FC Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano - LaLiga Santander
Spain, but without the “S”.
Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Bayern Munich have done well in their first three games of the 2022/23 season, scoring 13 and conceding four, vanquishing RB Leipzig in the DFL-Supercup and Eintracht Frankfurt and VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga. Any doubts of needing a proper striker were quickly silenced and fans (even pundits like the normally critical Lothar Matthäus) enjoy this free-flowing and free-scoring Bayern side.

There is one person, however, who apparently left for greener pastures and found it all to be a mirage. Isn’t that right, Robert?

FC Bayern München v FC Barcelona: Group E - UEFA Champions League
German snow is better than the Spanish heat.
Photo by Martin Hangen ATPImages/Getty Images

Robert Lewandowski’s controversial move to FC Barcelona has drawn the ire of fans and “burned bridges” at his old club. Lewy must probably be thinking that he should have stayed in Munich. A frustrating 0-0 draw with a Rayo Vallecano side that didn’t bother trying to attack was not the ideal way for Barca to test out their new signings, and the Polish attacker was singled out in Marca’s report (as captured by Sport Bild).

“The Pole learned a lot in his first game,” the report said. “The whole flow of the game and the enormous impact from the friendlies were gone when things got serious. At a good point in the game, especially in the first half, he was isolated and forced to go into his own half too often.”

FC Bayern München v VfL Wolfsburg - Bundesliga
Bundesliga crowds are the best, the same can’t be said in Barcelona
Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

Marca also observed a scene were Lewy had to get the Barcelona fans to cheer for them. “The other lesson is that the fans don’t really cheer for their team. Yes, they are motivated in big games, but not in one like yesterday. It’s not the Bundesliga here, so he had to ask people to cheer.” After that game, the 81,104 in attendance at the Spotify Camp Nou had almost nothing to cheer for.

Marca’s report also featured newspaper El Mundo, who chipped in with an observation of their own: Lewy being incohesive with the rest of the squad, resulting in him doing work on his own. “He was tired of creating spaces by forcing Rayo defender Catena to lose his position to leave. But he didn’t know what to do to get someone alluding to him,” El Mundo reported. Fellow newspaper Sport singled out Lewy who went unnoticed in a game where Barca struggled to make chances.

FC Barcelona Training Session
Xavi is an optimist and tries to take positives from such situations
Photo by Urbanandsport/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Barca coach Xavi took a more positive view on things, praising Lewy’s teamwork. “He controls the ball very well and helps the team. But we need a little more effectiveness. That was the main problem today,” Xavi said. “Robert and all of us are disappointed with the result. It’s a matter of time before he makes the difference.”

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