Football: Lewandowski credits Xavi for 'easy' decision on Barcelona move

Poland striker Robert Lewandowski moved to Barcelona in a deal worth €45 million (S$64.2 million). PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI (REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE) - Poland striker Robert Lewandowski has hailed Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez as the main reason for his move to the La Liga club, saying the former midfielder's ideas and methods painted an "amazing future" for the Spanish team.

Lewandowski, who had 12 months remaining on his Bayern Munich contract, moved to Barcelona in a deal worth €45 million (S$64.2 million) and has joined the team on their United States pre-season tour.

The two-time Best Fifa Player of the Year said he "always wanted to play for a big club in La Liga" and praised Xavi, who was roped in last season when Barca were ninth and dragged them out of a slump to eventually finish second in the standings.

"I was speaking with Xavi and from the beginning I know (what's been on his) mind, his ideas," Lewandowski said.

"It was easy for me to decide to come to Barcelona because I'm the guy who wants to play, who wants to win, and I think that with Xavi it's very possible.

"He knows exactly how to coach Barcelona because he was an amazing player and now he's also a very good coach. He has an amazing future and I want to be a part of this."

Lewandowski is the German Bundesliga's all-time second-highest scorer behind Gerd Muller.

He scored 348 goals for Bayern in eight seasons, winning the league title every year and the Champions League in 2020.

The 33-year-old had been forcing a move from Bayern since May and was relieved after both clubs came to an agreement last week.

"Finally, I'm here, I'm very happy to be here with Barcelona. The last few days were very long days but in the end the deal is done," he added.

"So now I can focus on a new chapter in my life."

Lewandowski's new teammates, meanwhile, believe he will bring the "winning mentality" Barcelona need, according to Danish international Andreas Christensen.

"It's been easy for him to integrate into the squad," the defender told Agence France-Presse.

"The team has been good at making players feel welcome but he has the qualities and the winning mentality we need.

"His qualities are obvious. Everyone is happy that he is here and he can push us and share his experiences. It's great for the team to have him."

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