Xavi ‘respects’ Robert Lewandowski amid Barca links to Bayern striker

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Xavi acknowledged his “respect” for Robert Lewandowski but offered little more on the Bayern Munich striker ahead of a key European game for Barcelona.

Robert Lewandowski has scored 47 goals in 41 games in all competitions for Bayern  Munich this season and won the FIFA World Player of the Year award in January.

Bayern were surprisingly eliminated from the Champions League in the quarter-finals on Tuesday, although Lewandowski found the net against Villarreal, who won 2-1 on aggregate.

Oliver Kahn, Bayern’s chief executive, said before that second leg the club “definitely” will not sell Lewandowski, who has a year left on his contract.

But the former Borussia Dortmund man has been linked with a move to Camp Nou at the end of the season.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the second leg of the Europa League quarter-final against Eintracht Frankfurt, Xavi said: “This is not the time to talk about Lewandowski.

“I have a lot of respect for him as a player, but we are focused on tomorrow’s game and not the players who can sign. I have nothing more to say about it.”

The Blaugrana drew 1-1 in Germany in the first leg of last week, when Xavi was unhappy with the tall grass at Waldstadion but is confident at the Camp Nou that his players will be able to use their ground-based football.

“It is true that the pitch was not 100 percent. It is important tomorrow that the pitch is good. It should help us improve the preservation of the ball,” Xavi said.

Barca have not lost in 15 games in all competitions, winning 11 of them, and Xavi’s arrival in November has given the team a sense of pride after a poor start to the knockout stages of the Champions League group stage for the first time. over twenty years.

Despite this form, Xavi has declared his coaching career as “the toughest” in the world, believing that the pressure to win and play good football makes Barca’s role more difficult in football.

“We have a responsibility to win and play well,” he said. “Imagine what it was like to be in Barca. The whole week there was a debate over the weekend when we won in the 90th minute [against Levante]. It’s just like being at Barca. We need to do well in everything we do.

“That is why it is the toughest team in the world, there is nothing we can compare it to, no other country is harder work than that.

“We have to win when we play well and that’s hard. It’s very difficult. The most weird team in the world, I’m sure of it.”

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