This season will see prolific striker Robert Lewandowski don an iconic Barcelona shirt for the first time.
However, the Polish goalscorer is already a bit of a hero at Camp Nou, although he hasn’t kicked the ball for them yet.
Fans and pundits alike were shocked by the ongoing deal given Barcelona’s ongoing financial struggles.
But Lewandowski’s record against Barca El Clasico rivals Real Madrid – against whom he could make his pre-season debut – shows the two sides are perfectly matched.
The 33-year-old has a bit of a habit of haunting Los Blancos during his career.
Lewandowski has scored six times against them in the Champions League.
Barca failed to win the La Liga title last season, finishing 13 points behind their opponents Madrid. However, the belief will be that having Lewandowski in their ranks for the next year bodes well for them.
And there’s one night in particular in 2013 that explains why…
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With four shadows
Lewandowski’s excellent record against Real Madrid fell apart in the 2012/13 season. Playing for Borussia Dortmund, the Poland international faced the La Liga giants in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals.
The Spanish team reached the semi-finals the previous year and served as a tough opponent for the German team.
But despite hopes that Jose Mourinho’s side would have the upper hand, this European encounter marked the day Lewandowski broke a string of records against Real Madrid.
And to say he raged against them would be an understatement.
In front of a home crowd at Signal Iduna Park, Lewandowski netted four times against Real Madrid, with a single goal from Cristiano Ronaldo helping to reduce the deficit.
But the damage was done.
Lewandowski’s four goals led him to become the first player in history to beat three Los Blancos in the Champions League.
And the new records didn’t stop there.
Real Madrid’s 4-1 loss to the Polish star marked Mourinho’s biggest defeat in the Champions League.
For a manager who had won the La Liga title with his team the previous season and who had already won the Champions League twice, Lewandowski single-handedly inflicting a record defeat on The Special One was something.
And that defeat essentially ended Jose Mourinho’s managerial tenure there, with him leaving the club that summer and calling that season “the worst of his career”.
Barcelona are certainly hoping they can cause the same damage against their El Clasico rivals next time around…
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