When Robert Lewandowski chose to leave Bayern Munich for FC Barcelona last summer, he said he did it to find a new challenge. Well, he probably didn’t think it would be this challenging.
According to a report from Diario AS, the striker was frustrated and upset after the loss to Manchester United, which ended Barca’s pathetically short Europa League campaign. In particular, Lewandowski was incensed by a single incident with teammate Ansu Fati, which could have cost Barcelona the equalizer.
In the dying minutes of the game, substitute Ferran Torres sent in a cross towards the penalty box. Fati leaped and headed the ball wide, when Lewandowski was in a much better position to score. The Pole was visibly frustrated afterwards, later seen going and speaking to captain Jordi Alba about the incident.
Per the report, Lewandowski actually confronted Fati inside the dressing room after the game, apparently “in good manners and without acrimony.” The veteran striker explained what had taken place and urged Fati to be more attentive of such situations in the future, while the youngster also apologized and said he felt he was in a better position to finish off the goal.
The article frames this as a “wise mentor” moment from Lewandowski, which is ... charitable, to say the least. It also points out the huge burden placed on Fati, who is tasked with wearing the famed #10 shirt following the departure of Leo Messi. In a perfect world, being mentored by a striker like Lewandowski would be the dream. Unfortunately, the Europa League is no environment for mentorship.
Meanwhile, for Lewandowski himself, the so-called “dream move” to FC Barcelona has not gone as planned. After getting knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages for the first time since he was at Dortmund, Lewandowski has now experienced the ignominy of being knocked out of Europe twice in one season.
We hope the new challenge was worth it.