Barcelona's Robert Lewandowski hailed as 'spectacular' after historic previous-making Champions League hat trick

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez says he is already working out of reward for the “spectacular” Robert Lewandowski after the striker’s hat trick in Wednesday’s 5-1 Champions League win in the direction of Viktoria Plzen.

Lewandowski, 34, took his tally for Barca to eight in 5 video games since his €forty five million transfer from Bayern Munich, whereas he additionally moved previous Karim Benzema to finally end up to be the third highest scorer inside the historic previous of the Champions League.

De Jong, Depay: gamers who missed out on summer time transfers
Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, extra (U.S.)

The Polish worldwide has now registered 89 targets inside the opponents. solely Cristiano Ronaldo (one hundred forty) and Lionel Messi (a hundred twenty five) have managed extra.

“i am working out of reward for him,” Xavi mentioned after the sport. “he is scored a hat trick, however it absolutely’s not simply that. it is how he performs and the method he makes the workforce play, discovering the third man, studying the residence completely, pressing…

“i am delighted [with him]. He has been a implausible signing. He supplies us so many options in assault, he is a pacesetter, a winner… [just] a implausible, implausible signing.”

Franck Kessie had opened the scoring for Barca earlier than Lewandowski struck his treble, turning into the most important participant to discover Champions League hat tips for three completely different teams, having achieved so beforehand for Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.

“i do not know if he is most probably the solely No.9 on this planet, however he is most probably the solely No. 9 for us,” Xavi added when requested if there is a greater striker inside the sport than the in-type Lewandowski.

“If he isn’t most probably the solely, he is up there with Benzema and the others, [Erling] Haaland may be there. however, with out making comparisons, Robert is spectacular and it is an honour to have him on the workforce.”

Substitute Ferran Torres added Barca’s fifth objective at Camp Nou, latching on to a go from Ousmane Dembele. The French winger had earlier arrange Lewandowski’s second objective, too, and Xavi sees elements of Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar in him.

“There are frequently not many in soccer like him, by the use of a pure winger who could be very troublesome to defend in the direction of,” the Barca boss mentioned.

“we now ought to reap the advantages of his qualities. he is pleased, he is having fun with himself. he is an important participant who makes the distinction, scoring targets, creating… he is a dagger on the wing.

“the commonplace he has one-on-one is on the extent of Neymar when he is at his best. He ought to be extra daring and shoot extra, however he is an environment nice baby and he is making the distinction in video games.”

Barca stay unbeaten throughout 5 video games in all competitions this season, however Xavi says it is too early to say they’re again after worthwhile simply one Copa del Rey inside the final three seasons.

larger exams stay, particularly in Europe. The Blaugrana go to Bayern Munich on Tuesday inside the Champions League after the German champions started their advertising campaign with a 2-zero win away at Inter Milan on Wednesday inside the group’s completely different recreation.

“it is quickly to say [Barca are back],” Xavi added. “we’re very pleased with the efficiency, however it absolutely’s simply three factors and one recreation at residence. We nonetheless ought to go to Munich, to Milan. it is a troublesome group. We should stay humble; that is simply getting started.”