Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski hailed ‘amazing’ after a hat-trick that made history in the Champions League

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez says he is already running out of praise for the ‘amazing’ Robert Lewandowski After the striker’s hat-trick in Wednesday’s 5-1 Champions League win over Viktoria Plzen.

Lewandowski, 34, has raised his tally for Barcelona to eight in five matches since his €45m move from Bayern Munich, while also surpassing Karim Benzema To become the third highest scorer in the history of the Champions League.

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The Poland international has now scored 89 goals in the competition. Just Cristiano Ronaldo (140) and Lionel Messi (125) They managed more than that.

“I don’t feel praise for him,” Xavi said after the match. “He scored a hat-trick, but it’s not like that. It’s the way he plays and how he makes the team play, finding the third man, reading the space perfectly, pressing …

“Nice to meet you [with him]. It was a great signature. He gives us a lot of solutions in attack, he’s a leader, a winner… [just] A wonderful and wonderful signature.”

Frank Casey He opened the scoring for Barcelona before Lewandowski scored his hat-trick, becoming the first player to score a hat-trick in the Champions League for three different teams, having previously done so with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.

“I don’t know if he is the best number 9 in the world, but he is the best number 9 for us,” Xavi added when asked if there was a better striker in the match than the brilliant Lewandowski.

“If he is not the best, he is with Benzema and the others, [Erling] Haaland There is, too. But without making comparisons, Robert is amazing and I’m honored to be on the team.”

alternative Ferran Torres He added the fifth goal for Barcelona at the Camp Nou after a pass from Ousmane Dembele. The French winger had earlier made Lewandowski’s second goal as well, and Xavi sees elements of the PSG striker. Neymar in it.

“There is not much in football like him, in terms of a pure wing that is difficult to defend against,” the Barcelona coach said.

“We have to take advantage of his qualities. He’s happy, he’s enjoying himself. He’s an important player who makes the difference, scores goals and assists… He’s a dagger on the wing.

“The quality he has is Neymar’s level when he’s at his best. He has to be bolder and shoot more, but he’s a good kid and he makes the difference in games.”

Barcelona have not lost in five games in all competitions this season, but Xavi says it is too early to say they are back after winning the King’s Cup only once in the past three seasons.

There are still bigger tests, especially in Europe. The Blaugrana will visit Bayern Munich on Tuesday in the Champions League after the German champions started their career with a 2-0 win away to Inter Milan on Wednesday in the other group match.

He will say soon [Barca are back]Xavi added: “We are very happy with the performance, but the result is only three points and one game at home. We still have to go to Munich, to Milan. It’s a tough group. We have to stay humble. This is just starting.”