He was announced on the ground, ruined. Worn down by the Covid crisis, broken by the departure of the talisman Lionel Messi, humiliated by the competition and unable to cross the group stage of the last Champions League, Barça was spinning bad cotton. The great collapse did not last very long. If no one knows how his next exercise will look, this summer break was enough for the Catalan giant to reaffirm his power and his ambitions.
No, FC Barcelona is not dead. And if proof was needed, the arrival of Robert Lewandowski is a striking one. The signing for four years of the Pole was formalized for good Tuesday evening by the management of the Catalan club. The duration of the contract does not deceive: Barça has made “RL9” the figurehead of its revival project. The transfer of the 2021 and 2022 Golden Boot, in addition to offering the Blaugrana the top scorer in Europe, puts them back on the European hierarchy.
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Doubled for a few years by Paris, Manchester City, Chelsea or Liverpool, dropped by Real and Bayern, they needed to strike a blow on the transfer market. With Lewandowski, they couldn’t do better. The man with 344 goals in 375 matches in the Bayern jersey is the missing link in a team that has been exciting for a few months but which did not always achieve its goals.
Lewandowski – Benzema and the return of the Barça – Real duel
The Pole gives another look to the pretty promises sown by Xavi since his arrival. And stealing their best player from the big Bayern is further proof that Barça are still playing in the big leagues. Barça’s attacking potential has few equivalents today in Europe. The club, which started last season with Martin Braithwaite then Luuk De Jong in his eleven, is now spoiled for choice to support Lewandowski. In 2022, in addition to the Pole, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ferran Torres and Raphinha landed. Ousmane Dembélé extended. Not to mention Ansu Fati, the one who embodied the renewal for a time, or Memphis Depay who has still not left.
The arrival of a superstar, which Barça lacked since the departure of Neymar in 2017 then Messi in 2021, brings the duel with Real Madrid back into fashion. Weakened by the settling of Barça and the exiles of Ronaldo then Messi or even Ramos, the Clasico had lost interest this season. If they have neither the prize list nor the pedigree of the Portuguese and the Argentinian, Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski are today the two best numbers 9 in the world and they can between them wake up a soap opera which turned into the wrong soap. .
Karim Benzema (lReal Madrid) and Robert Lewandowski (FC Bayern)
Credit: Getty Images
A revival, but at what cost?
The debt was smoothed over several years and two new loans were even contracted (595 million from Goldman Sachs and 1.5 billion over 30 years to renovate the Camp Nou). The club sold 10% of revenue from its TV rights and 49.9% of its Barça Licensing and Merchandising franchise. He is therefore pushing back the problem, betting on the post-Covid-19 economic recovery and on the future income generated by his new stadium to repay his creditors. The bet is risky even for the club that generates the most revenue in the world. Robert Lewandoswki is one of the essential pieces. Even with him, the rebirth of the great Barça is currently on hold.
Joan Laporta president of FC Barcelona.
Credit: Getty Images
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