The standout game on Tuesday is undoubtedly Barcelona’s trip to German giants Bayern Munich. The match also sees 34-year-old striker Robert Lewandowski come up against his former club.
The UEFA Champions League is to resume on Tuesday night with the second round of the group stage games. The midweek fixtures are set to feature a common theme: big-name returns.
The Polish International, widely regarded as the best striker in Europe over the last couple of years, switched Bavaria for Barcelona in the summer transfer window after 8 seasons with Bayern.
Lewandowski made history in Germany, scoring the most goals ever recorded in a single Bundesliga season, bagging 41 goals in 29 league appearances back in 2020/2021. The striker became a Bayern and Bundesliga legend during his time in Germany, ranking second in the all-time top scorer charts for both the Club and in German league history.
Despite all Lewandowski’s heroics in Germany, his reputation among Bayern fans may have been slightly damaged given the antics he displayed in trying to seal his move to Barca earlier in the summer.
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano reported that Lewandowski had agreed to join The Catalans at the end of February this year. However, terms had only been agreed between the Spanish side and the striker, not with Bayern. Initially, Lewandowski was open to staying in Bavaria. But a contract offer that did not meet the player’s expectations opened the door for Barca to temp the striker. A temptation and opportunity Lewandowski could not resist.
In an interview with One Sport in June this year, Lewandowski said: “Loyalty and respect are more important than the work. The best thing to do is find a solution together.
“They didn’t want to listen to me until the end. Something died inside me and it’s impossible to get over that. Even if you want to be professional, you can’t make up for it. No other offers were even considered by me other than that of Barcelona. I want to leave Bayern, that’s clear.”
This sparked a war of words between the striker and Bayern’s hierarchy, with Oliver Kahn, Bayern CEO, telling Sport1, “I can’t tell you why Robert chose this way of communicating his situation. Public statements like that don’t get you anywhere. Robert should remember what he has at Bayern. He has become one of the best footballers in the world here.”
In mid-July, Lewandowski got his wish, completing his move to Barca for a reported €50million. The new Barca number 9 has taken to life in Spain like a duck to water, scoring 9 goals and laying on a further 2 assists in his first 6 appearances this season.
Lewandowski returns to Bayern tonight where he will be looking to show the Club why they should have offered him a better deal, with his aim to fire Barca to victory and take a stranglehold over the rest of Group C. Bayern, on the other hand, will be looking for revenge on Lewandowski, and show football world that they don’t need the Polish star as they aim for their second UCL triumph in the last four years.
Also Read: Is Neymar Now the Best Player in the World?