x

Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Robert Lewandowski felt 'alone' at Bayern Munich following criticism, breaks silence on wish to leave

The Poland striker says he now wants to remain at the Bundesliga champions to repay fans

Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski poses for a photo with a fan. Reuters
Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski poses for a photo with a fan. Reuters

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski says criticism of him towards the end of last season left him feeling "alone" as he finally broke his silence about wanting to leave the Bundesliga giants in May.

Lewandowski has won eight titles in four years at Bayern including last season when the Bavarians finished 21 points clear of second-placed Schalke with the Poland international netting 29 times in 30 games.

However, he was widely criticised in April and May after failing to score in the quarter and semi-finals of the Uefa Champions League, against Sevilla and Real Madrid respectively, in two-legged ties.

"In April, May, almost everyone took a shot at me," Lewandowski, who turned 30 on Tuesday, told German magazine Sport Bild.

"I felt no protection from the club and felt alone in the situation.

"I didn't score in two or three important games and suddenly it was 'fire at will against Lewandowski'.

"I didn't see anyone behind me at the time.

"Neither of the bosses defended me," he added referring to Bayern's president Uli Hoeness and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

_____________

Read more:

Robert Lewandowski 'thinking about playing somewhere else' but Bayern Munich have no plans to sell

Ian Hawkey: From Burnley to Real Madrid: the modern trend of increased competition among goalkeepers

_____________

This is the first time the striker has commented on his desire to leave Bayern, whose senior figures have repeatedly said there is no possibility of him leaving before his contract expires in 2021.

Lewandowski shocked the club in May when his agent Pini Zahavi revealed the Pole's desire to seek "a new challenge".

Now he says support from Munich fans has given him fresh motivation to win titles when Bayern kick-off the new German League season on Friday by hosting fellow Champions League side Hoffenheim.

"I'm back putting my heart into Bayern. I noticed here in Munich how the fans are behind me and I realised, they still want me," he said.

And Lewandowski played down the significance of working with Zahavi, one of the most powerful agents in world football, after parting ways with his previous agent on 10 years in late February.

"That does not mean that he has to fix a transfer for me - there are enough things that a consultant can take care of," Lewandowski said.