23rd October, 2022
Leon Goretzka says Robert Lewandowski “was spoiled” at Bayern Munich as he taunted his former team-mate over Barcelona’s Champions League struggles.
Barca face being eliminated from the competition in the group stage in successive campaigns for only the second time heading into Wednesday’s tie with Bayern at Camp Nou.
The Catalan giants will be unable to advance to the last 16 should they lose or if Inter beat Viktoria Plzen, while they will also be eliminated should both games be drawn.
While Barca have struggled in Europe of late, Bayern have reached at least the quarter-finals in all but one of the past 11 seasons, which Goretzka says can be taken for granted.
“Lewy was very spoiled at Bayern, always being at least in the round of 16 and progressing,” Goretzka told reporters. “But now we can no longer take that into account.”
Bayern beat Barca 2-0 in last month’s reverse fixture, in which Lewandowski missed two presentable opportunities, and are already assured of a place in the knockout stages.
The German side have defeated Barcelona in nine of their 12 Champions League encounters, including the past five in a row.
Only Bayern themselves against Real Madrid (10) have lost more games against a single side in the competition’s history, and Goretzka is targeting another victory next week.
“If we play against Barcelona at the Camp Nou, it can be a preparatory game or a Champions League final, it doesn’t matter,” the Germany international added.
“It’s going to be a super cool game that we’re looking forward to. And we will also do everything to win it.”
Lewandowski has scored five Champions League goals for Barca, each of those coming at Camp Nou – the most ever by a Barca player after their first two matches.
The prolific striker lifted the famous trophy with Bayern in 2020, but he will have to settle for Europa League football – at best – if results go against his side.
“It’s their last chance,” Bayern striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting said. “I’m definitely looking forward to the game and to seeing Lewy.
“He’s a world-class player and a great guy. Playing against Barcelona is always something special.”