Xavi Criticises Robert Lewandowski After Recent Dip in Form for Barcelona

Xavi Criticises Robert Lewandowski After Recent Dip in Form for Barcelona

Elijah Odetokun
updated at January 26, 2024 at 4:00 PM
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  • Robert Lewandowski has struggled in front of goal for Barcelona this season
  • His minutes have reduced significantly as he fails to hit the target on many occasions
  • Head coach Xavi Hernandez appears to aim a criticism at the Polish forward

Xavi is growing frustrated with Robert Lewandowski’s poor return in front of goal but remains courteous in his approach to criticising the Polish striker.

Lewandowski won the Pichichi trophy for La Liga’s top scorer in his first season in Spain last year as Barcelona won the La Liga title in Xavi’s first season, the first since Lionel Messi left.

Robert Lewandowski, Xavi, Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, Copa del Rey.
Xavi and Robert Lewandowski shook hands after the striker was substituted against Athletic Bilbao. Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce.
Source: Getty Images

This year, the club’s struggle in La Liga coincided with the player's loss of form. The club sits third in La Liga behind Real Madrid and surprise package Girona.

Xavi criticises Lewandowski

There looks like a spat between the manager and the player, which has yet to go public and is being suppressed to maintain the unity of the dressing room.

Speaking ahead of the league game against Villarreal, as quoted by Football Espana, Xavi pinpointed the 35-year-old’s problem but diffused any risk of escalation with his words.

“In the last four games, he has scored three goals, perhaps there is a feeling that he is not sharp in his controls or giving the final pass. He will continue to be important, he is a natural leader,” he said.
“We must improve, and the locker room is very united. I have not seen a human quality like it. We have to be more concentrated in the first minutes, and we are looking for solutions so that the season ends up being a good one.”

Per ESPN, the players are beginning to question the managers’ tactics, and the former Bayern Munich forward is one of them, previously claiming the club isn't attacking enough.

Fans have grown tired of the former Borussia Dortmund striker and called on their club legend turned manager to give opportunities to young forwards Marc Guiu and new signing Vitor Roque.

Xavi could leave Barcelona

Sports Brief reported on Xavi speaking on his Barcelona future, and his words subtly hinted that the end could be nearer than anticipated after the Copa del Rey elimination.

Athletic Bilbao, managed by former boss Ernesto Valverde, came back from 2-1 to beat the Catalonia club 4-2 in the quarter-final of the cup competition, heaping further pressure on Xavi.

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Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.