BarcelonaRobert Lewandowski faces a capital punishment. He can be three or four games without playing. And all because of the gesture he made when he was expelled from the Sadar. He brought his fingers up to his nose a couple of times, running them just below. The referee, Gil Manzano, interpreted it as a “disrespect” and recorded it in the minutes. The day after the game, the Polish striker wanted to have his say and assured that the gesture was not for the referee, but that he was addressing Xavi Hernández.
It was Lewandowski himself who asked to speak, they say from the club. The player wanted to make things clear, or at least defend himself, to try to minimize the number of games that the competition committee can impose on him for the action. “Xavi already warned me that this would happen, we were talking about it last week. That if I saw a yellow card I had to be alert. When he sent me off I thought about what he had told me, and that’s why I went to him, to tell him that he had a good nose”, commented Lewandowski in English in a small impromptu press conference at the Antiga Fàbrica Damm, where the footballer has received the Golden Boot that accredits him as top scorer European for the 2021/22 season.
In a heated game in Pamplona, where Barça took all three points, Lewandowski took the bait of Gil Manzano, who showed him two questionable yellow cards. “I can accept the second card. I don’t intend to foul, but, watching the video, you can show the card. But the gesture afterwards was not for him, but for the coach. There is a very big difference “, insisted the footballer to defend his innocence.
In the meantime, the report has already reached Competicio, which will issue a ruling in the coming days. The next League matches, in that order, are the derby against Espanyol (for New Year’s Eve), Atlético de Madrid, Getafe and Girona. The derby will be lost for sure, as he will serve the mandatory penalty for the double card. And the rest will depend on the committee’s interpretation of the facts. Either listen to the referee or listen to Lewandowski. In any case, the gesture of running your fingers under your nose has a meaning in Germany, where the footballer played for the last decade, and it refers to someone who is arrogant and overbearing.
Lewandowski: “We’re on the right track”
The expulsion of Lewandowski has coincided with the gala awarding of the Golden Boot, which took place in Barcelona, in an event that included former Barça captain Carles Puyol, who presented him with the award ; of Barcelona president Joan Laporta, and of coach Xavi Hernández. There were also numerous managers and executives from Barcelona to congratulate the winner, who in his speech, apart from thanking the award, launched a message of the future taking advantage of the fact that Barça reaches the national team stoppage in first place: “Let’s go on the right track.”
The footballer started speaking in Spanish, but quickly switched to English. “I need three more months,” he said with a laugh. But what he hasn’t needed, for now, is adaptation to maintain his goal-scoring flair and be, just before the World Cup, the league’s little one. “I had a lot of confidence with the team, the players, thestaff… They helped me a lot”. Lewandowski wanted to iron out the elimination of the Champions League and emphasized that the team, despite that stumble, is on the way to growth. “A team is not formed in a week . It takes much longer and the season is very long. For now I’ll stick with this, that we’re on the right track, and with games like yesterday [a Pamplona] or Valencia, where the team didn’t give up until the last minute and ended up winning.”
Barça was very present at the event, when in reality the award was won by Lewandowski thanks to his performance last season with Bayern Munich, the club he left in the summer to play at Camp Nou. The Pole scored 35 goals and scored 70 points in the standings for this award. Thus, he was ahead of PSG forward Kylian Mbappé (28 goals), Lazio’s Italian Ciro Immobile (27) and Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema (27).