Robert Lewandowski hopes to start 2023 in good shape, he is the top scorer in the Spanish League, but the moment of truth has arrived to win titles.
The Pole gave an exclusive interview to Diario Sport and nothing was saved when talking about the reality of the culé team. He spoke about Messi and also about the possibility of playing in another World Cup.
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His wish for 2023?
My wish is that all Barça fans feel proud of this team, proud of what we achieve. I don’t know what that means exactly, but I hope they are big things.
Are you optimistic about your time at the club?
After completing the transfer, I felt very happy to be here, to join Barça. The first three or four months went very well in LaLiga and we are leaders, although the first games in January are going to be very important. Only in the Champions League we didn’t play the way we wanted. It is also true that we had a lot of injuries after the international break, five or six and most of them defensemen. That made us lose our rhythm and our fitness a bit. If you don’t have stability behind, it becomes difficult. And in the Champions even more. We also made some small mistakes that made us lose games and we had some bad luck. With everything, we couldn’t compete against Inter and Bayern, but in LaLiga we are there and we must be happy with what we did. We know that we can improve and progress and we have to think that we can play much better.
What is missing from Barça to fight for the Champions League?
It is not easy after so many problems as Barça has had and still has. We must go step by step. Of course we want to do better, but I think we need time and be patient because we have a very good team. I feel that now we have stability, little by little, in the team and outside it, which is also important. Everything that happens around is important for the team and for the players. Barça is on the right track and I hope that next year will be much better for us and we will continue fighting for titles.
Have you been surprised by everything that surrounds the club, the famous environment?
No, it didn’t surprise me too much. When I came I knew that Barça is a huge club, but I have experience. Of course, there are different things about other clubs and what you see around the world. Here in every corner you see how big this club is and I am very excited, but I expected it. I knew that there would be a lot of media and journalists talking about Barça.
What is Robert Lewandowski doing, at 34 years old and being one of the best scorers in the world, in a rebuilding club? Why?
I know I’ve won everything with Bayern, but for me to take a new step in my career, to move forward… to be part of Barça… It’s not just for the club, but also on a personal level… It is a challenge. Winning, for it to be the best club again, with the best players, playing the best football… I wanted to be part of this moment and not only want to live the experience, but also contribute my quality, my resources. I know that I can be at this level for the next three years because I’ve been working like this for ten or fifteen years, to play as much as possible. I don’t feel older than my classmates, not because of an age issue. My physique is very good and there are different ways to feel it. Barça is a huge challenge and I wanted to be part of this new project.
Not looking back, just forward.
Yes, of course, because if you’ve won everything, you need to find new sensations, new challenges, experiences… And now everything I’m living I’ll take with me, not only during my career as a footballer, but it will be for my whole life .
Well, he has a few goals already. Did he expect to score so many?
For me it was important to score goals, but I did not ask myself if I could reach a specific number. Of course, I knew that I had to keep marking and push because the first months were going to be more difficult than the rest of the season. That is why I had to be very focused from the first day, from the first minute, in each training session. I didn’t want to waste time. Now I look to the future and I see that my adaptation will be easier and things may even go much better.
Welcome to the blaugrana family!
Yes, that’s how I feel. Now that I was at the World Cup and I’ve been away from the club and the city, when I came back I felt like I was coming home, that means a lot to me and it means that I’m very happy to be here, in this city and in this club. .
What happened to Gil Manzano?
Nothing happened with the referee. Only he showed me the two yellow ones, that’s all. But the reason why they have punished me with three games had nothing to do with the referee, but with me and with the coach. It is all I can say.
What did that gesture mean?
A week or two before, we were chatting with Xavi and he told me that I had to watch if the referee showed me a yellow card, but that was just a gesture to express that he couldn’t understand what was happening. We had discussed it and it was something between Xavi and me. I did not understand anything.
A very harsh punishment.
It’s difficult because I feel like three games are too much for what I did. That’s for sure. And it’s painful not being able to play three games for that.
LaLiga is a priority, but there are three more titles at stake. It can?
The Super Cup is only two games, I hope. The semifinal and the final. It could be the first title this year and the first for me at Barça. But if you want to compete at the highest level, you always have to think about winning everything, think that it is possible. Of course it is very difficult, but you have to think about it. If you get the opportunity, you have to be there to take it. You have to show on the field that you are prepared. You have to think like that and it doesn’t matter how many parties there are. If you are close, you can never give up.
Does the Europa League define the real level of this Barça?
If we play it, we also want to win it. The first game will be against Manchester United and it will be very hard, but winning the title is a long road, so the first thing to do is think about winning the first game. What happens next… you can’t be thinking about the final or later because you get distracted.
They have no luck with the draws.
Yeah, until now. But if you compete with Manchester United and win, it means that you are a very strong team. And you can already think about the next one. You have to be prepared for these matches.
Is your challenge to win the Champions League?
Of course, winning the Champions League with Barça would be a dream, but I also want LaLiga, it’s one of our objectives this season.
How is the pressure?
I’ve been living with pressure for many years, so no, for me… I know there’s a lot of pressure, but it’s nothing new for me. Sometimes I even need some adrenaline to go out to the Camp Nou, for example, if the game is tight. And when you walk into the stadium and you feel that extra energy… That means a lot to me.
What did you feel when you scored in the World Cup with the Polish team?
It was a dream come true. I don’t have many chances to score for Poland. In the previous World Cup we weren’t very good, but in this one, even playing very defensively, we had chances and I had to be prepared. We got our goals and we had a chance against France. Although we played a good first half, it wasn’t enough. In the group stage we only lost to Argentina. For us it is not a success, but we are satisfied with what we did.
Do you see yourself with the strength to play another World Cup?
I don’t know, it’s not just a football, team or physical issue, it’s also other things. We’ll see.
What was said with Messi?
I don’t want to say what we talked about, but it was a nice chat. I think that this type of thing does not have to be explained because it is private, but it was very nice.
Argentina world champion
It is for him a dream come true. I know the enormous pressure that he has had to endure for many years… Maradona’s history with Argentina… ”. Lewandowski is full of praise for the Argentine: “He has achieved everything in football, he is the best footballer in the world. And now he enjoys it, I can imagine what it means to him and the country. And how he has played! He has seen it all over the world”. In this sense, he recognized that “it is very difficult to play against him. He is the well-deserved champion. I already said it before the World Cup, that they were the favorites to win it. Whenever someone asked me, he said that the favorite was Argentina ”. Something that did not change even when they lost to Saudi Arabia in their debut: “Even losing to Saudi Arabia, I was sure they were going to reach the final and, surely, win it.