Home » Robert Lewandowski can get Barcelona back on top, but are the club ready for him?

Robert Lewandowski can get Barcelona back on top, but are the club ready for him?

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As a result of he is the second-most costly switch for a footballer over the age of 33, and since Barcelona are basically mortgaging their future to crash-build a aggressive squad, the questions to date have centered on: Is Robert Lewandowski able to giving the Blaugrana worth for his or her cash?

The doubters have additionally carped: Is the ex-Bayern Munich man going to reside as much as such an unlimited funding (a reported €45 million switch payment plus wages over a four-year contract)? And, will he adapt to Barcelona supervisor Xavi Hernandez’s model of soccer whereas scoring these killer objectives the squad has so sorely lacked over the previous two seasons?

It isn’t that these questions are utterly misplaced, however I feel there’s one other, extraordinarily essential one which has been ignored: Are Barca prepared for Lewandowski?

There is a host of causes to ask this — plenty of key assessments the membership, moderately than completely the participant, should cross for this high-budget summer season marriage to flourish.

In becoming a member of Barcelona, Lewandowski accepted a genuinely exceptional danger, given his standing and the standard of membership he left, in addition to the others (Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea) reportedly all for him. On the absolute outdoors, Barcelona have till Sept. 1 to fulfill LaLiga’s Monetary Honest Play guidelines by vastly lowering their wage mass with a purpose to register Lewandowski, Raphinha, Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen, Pablo Torre, Sergi Roberto and Ousmane Dembele.

That is an infinite process. However, infinitely extra urgent is the truth that membership president Joan Laporta and his switch group have barely greater than two weeks to get at the very least a few the important thing signings (Lewandowski and Raphinha on the head of the queue) totally registered and able to play within the season opener towards Rayo Vallecano at Camp Nou on Aug. 13.

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Take into consideration the row, take into consideration the embarrassment if they can not handle that. You’ll be able to guess your backside greenback that the query of “Will you be in monetary form to register my consumer?” performed an enormous half in negotiations, and that there can be stringent penalty clauses inserted in Lewandowski’s deal if Barça fail to fulfill LaLiga guidelines in time to get him registered.

However though Lewandowski was evidently wowed by each Laporta and Xavi in selecting Barcelona, and through the course of of creating it ultra-clear to Bayern that they may cease their efforts to influence him to remain, that is an unimaginable scenario.

Unprecedented in my view. World class, about to show 34 in August, desired by high golf equipment round Europe but, when making his debut in a 1-0 Clásico win over Actual Madrid in a Las Vegas pleasant, Lewandowski wasn’t even conscious of whether or not his transfer can be made totally official in time for the brand new season.

The membership has put in such effort on transfers, wage discount and income era (with the Spotify sponsorship included, the whole is over €800m since spring) that it feels inconceivable their new famous person, or the opposite notable signings, are susceptible to not being registered to play in LaLiga till the January window.

However: the proof is within the pudding. For instance, though the trigger wasn’t monetary you’ll be able to guess the whole lot you personal that when Dani Alves re-signed for Barça final January, he was unaware that they would not register him to play of their UEFA Europa League marketing campaign. May one among this summer season’s signings have a nasty shock awaiting — sidelined on the membership unable to play league soccer?

Even when it is a minor danger, Lewandowski has staked an enormous quantity by agreeing to signal for a membership that weren’t in a position to instantly verify his eligibility with the authorities who govern Spain’s league. Barcelona have made him guarantees, he is accepted in good religion — however the clock is ticking.

The subsequent very important areas the place Barcelona must rapidly display to this ultra-demanding athlete that they are at his stage of competence: coaching, health, damage prevention, recuperation, plus when he, and others, must be rotated.

Coaching periods, in concept, should not be the issue. Xavi and Lewandowski share a imaginative and prescient of what elite soccer needs to be like. The Catalan’s influence on the day by day exercises as soon as he took over from Ronald Koeman final November was seismically good and Lewandowski is, as soon as once more, going to have massively gifted footballers left, proper and centre.

However wider day by day life at Barcelona is now about to be microscopically examined by their new centre-forward. Xavi and backroom workers have tried to purge all of the horrible failings they inherited. However this, bear in mind, is a membership that was in a horrible mess with regards to exactly the requirements which Lewandowski, and doubtless any long-term Bayern star, considers fundamental.

When Xavi took over he discovered a lackadaisical angle to timekeeping, food regimen and depth of labor. Furthermore, he totally disapproved of the best way the medical facet of the first-team squad operated and, in equity, there have been loads of desperately poor examples. Dembele’s stratospherically dangerous sequence of accidents, particularly given how few comparable issues he’d suffered at Borussia Dortmund, can be the worst.

However what concerning the failure of Ansu Fati’s meniscus operations, and recuperations, plus his hamstring issues, which have price the prodigious objective scorer over 80 matches, injured, in lower than two years? The 2021-22 season was additionally dreadfully impacted by Pedri’s lengthy absences — an element of being overplayed by each Barcelona and Spain at a really tender age. However nobody — Camp Nou soccer workers, medics, physios or health coaches — coped with how one can handle having a phenomenon on their books. Nor have Barcelona’s medics been in a position to preserve Samuel Umtiti in aggressive form.

Since taking on, Xavi has insisted on drastic modifications, sackings and hirings, in all three areas — physiotherapy, health preparation and, above all, with the rehiring of the notably wonderful Dr. Ricard Pruna. Nevertheless, all these professionals at the moment are going be put to the take a look at — microscopically. Lewandowski, remember, is a health and well-being hawk. Ought to he discover requirements or attitudes at Barcelona’s Joan Gamper coaching floor beneath both what he is been dwelling with at Bayern, or what he believes in personally, there’ll instantly be pressure.

It is extensively identified that his spouse, Anna, dictates the participant’s basic food regimen and that this course of has functioned spectacularly effectively (even when he eats his candy before his main course or salad.) As well as, Lewandowski has even employed a sleep therapist to maximise his potential, previously stating that he sleeps on his left facet to protect his proper foot.

Testimonials to the 33-year-old’s angle and depth of preparation come from the legendary striker and longtime Bayern religious chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: “In our dressing room no person has as spectacular a physique as Robert.”

Or, should you like, hearken to Jupp Heynckes, treble-winning supervisor at Bayern: “The factor about Robert which most impresses me is his professionalism, his ambition, his ardour and the bodily form he is in.”

Whereas managing Bayern, Pep Guardiola restricted himself to easily calling Lewandowski “one of the skilled gamers I’ve ever labored with.”

It is potential that you simply considered Lewandowski solely as a hungry, decided, prolific striker. It is potential that you simply thought being a soccer “supervisor” actually pertained solely to the formation used, the techniques, dealing with the media, successful or dropping trophies. However that is not it. The bedrock is the day by day work. Who’s within the energy seat? You or the gamers? Consider me, this could be a very threatening seesaw relationship. If there are 100%, bona-fide world-class winners and fighters in your group — have you ever obtained them satisfied? Virtually as essential: are your workers convincing these hawkish gamers with each phrase, each deed, with their attitudes, selections, plans, communication abilities?

This, and a lot extra, would be the gas of whether or not Lewandowski is glad, even impressed by his new setting, and whether or not he ignites. Barça have signed a man who has performed in solely two Champions League finals, received one and never scored in both. But he’s a phenomenon within the competitors — solely Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have outscored him and his ratio, 86 objectives in 106 video games, is bettered solely by Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano.

Provided that Lewandowski will flip 34 on the day of Barça’s second league match, he is at Camp Nou principally for instant influence within the vastly profitable Champions League (the place Barça need to earn near €400m within the subsequent three seasons) much more than in LaLiga. They crave his objective assurance within the one area the place they will make inroads into their extraordinary debt.

Xavi will, unquestionably, be tempted to relaxation the striker forward of some key UCL matches — one thing {that a} participant who has averaged a 95% look price in all obtainable membership fixtures since 2010 is not used to and will not like. Who wins that argument? One other take a look at Lewandowski brings to Barça.

It is all going to be fascinating to look at and there is no query that, now Barça have invested so closely in him, Lewandowski must ship. However, I promise you, there will be some Camp Nou workers, and gamers, who have not skilled something exactly like this man earlier than. They’d higher be as much as scratch.

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