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Bayern boss wants to zip Lewandowski's lip

China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-13 08:24

Bayern boss wants to zip Lewandowski's lip

Robert Lewandowski (right) reacts during Bayern Munich's 2-0 loss to Hoffenheim on Saturday. Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters

Star striker slams spending policy in magazine interview

BERLIN - Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has fired back at Robert Lewandowski after the superstar striker criticized the Bavarian giant's spending policy.

Bayern crashed to a stunning 2-0 defeat at Hoffenheim last Saturday, leaving it sixth in the Bundesliga standings - its worst position after the first three games since 2010-11.

Bayern boss wants to zip Lewandowski's lip

The mood ahead of Tuesday's first Champions League match at home to Anderlecht was not helped by Lewandowski telling magazine Der Spiegel that Bayern should spend big to attract more world-class players.

Bayern set a new Bundesliga record in June by signing France midfielder Corentin Tolisso from Lyon for $49.9 million, but Lewandowski said the club risks being left behind by top European rivals.

Bayern president Uli Hoeness had already described the $264 million Paris Saint-Germain paid for Neymar, and the signing of Kylian Mbappe in a deal which could reach $216 million as "utter madness".

Rummenigge has taken Lewandowski's words as a thinly-veiled attack on the club.

"Apparently, Robert was irritated by the Paris transfers," Rummenigge told German daily Bild.

"He is employed by us as a footballer, he earns a lot of money and I regret his statements."

Lewandowski is under contract until 2021, and Rummenigge has accused the player's agent, Maik Barthel, of meddling in Bayern's business.

When Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang eclipsed Lewandowski to become the Bundesliga's top scorer on the final day of last season, Barthel accused coach Carlo Ancelotti and Lewandowski's teammates of not doing enough to help him score.

Harming comments

"Unfortunately his adviser, Mr Barthel, is often the 'spiritus rector' (guiding spirit) and this was again the case," said Rummenigge.

"The interview was deliberately organized by FC Bayern, and his own comments harm Robert."

Lewandowski said Bayern must spend big if it is realistic about winning the Champions League for the first time since 2013, but Rummenigge sees nothing wrong with the club's spending policy.

"Robert does not need to worry, we have a very good squad again this season," said Rummenigge.

"We have a long-standing, serious and successful philosophy and have achieved great success.

"We have won all national and international titles possible over the past five years. Let's see if Paris now wins the Champions League.

"They must at least do that now. Other people have tried in vain to buy titles."

Rummenigge said Bayern's director of sport, Hasan Salihamidzic, talked to Lewandowski about the interview, but drew the line when asked if the striker will be dropped for his comments.

"The coach must decide that, but I know how to get players to see reason," said Rummenigge.

"If you publicly criticize the coach, the club or the other players, you will get stress from me personally.

"I am a fan of democracy and freedom of opinion, but we are currently too smart to yap on instead of focusing on football.

"It must not be harmful to the club. We need to be more efficient and serious."

"It's September, and I do not want to hear anything from big games in April.

"Arrogance is not appropriate; the league title is not in our lap."

Agence France-presse

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