Xavi: ‘Natural leader’ Lewandowski offers more to Barcelona than goals

Robert Lewandowski has quickly settled at Barcelona
Robert Lewandowski has quickly settled at Barcelona

Barcelona head coach Xavi heaped praise upon “natural leader” Robert Lewandowski, highlighting other aspects of his game beyond the goals after a 4-0 win against Real Valladolid.

The recent acquisition from Bayern Munich scored a brace for the second game in a row to take his tally to four in three games and was unfortunate to have not secured a hat-trick, hitting the frame of the goal twice.

Lewandowski’s goals were always going to be the most valuable outcome of his lucrative transfer, but Xavi believes he offers more than his devastating impact in the final third.

“Apart from the goals, I would highlight his timing. Everything that the fan does not see so much, is extraordinary,” he told DAZN.

“He is a natural leader; what he sees he says. It’s wonderful how he has adapted to the group. He is a born worker, an example.”

Having started the campaign with a goalless draw against Rayo Vallecano, Barcelona have secured back-to-back wins against Real Sociedad and Real Valladolid, scoring eight goals in the process – more than any other side to have completed three matches.

While Xavi made it clear there are areas for improvement, he hailed the team for a “remarkable” performance.

“Perfect no, but it was a great match. The first 40 minutes were very good. Then we relaxed. In the second part we started well as well,” he added.

“Overall, it was a perfect match, but not a complete one. You don’t have to relax and you have to keep squeezing. We wanted to give back to the fans the illusion.

“This is good for the team and for the fans. We should not relax as has happened with the 2-0. I have to watch the game repeated but there are things to improve. There is no perfect match, but it was remarkable.”

Barcelona’s next test is against Sevilla before commencing their Champions League campaign, having been handed a tough group that includes Bayern Munich and Inter.

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