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Hugging-day at Bayern Munich's training ground as Lewandowski gets ready for Barca
Berlin, July 16 - Eight years in the shirt of Bayern Munich ended up in excessive hugging for Robert Lewandowski on Saturday.
All tension darkening the skies over the past weeks vanished in the moments the breaking news about his transfer to the Spanish club hit the Bavarian club's training ground in Munich this Saturday morning.
All of a sudden, the daily routine turned into an emotional farewell session for one of the club's greatest, heading for new shores.
While details need to be fixed, Bayern chairman Oliver Kahn said: "In the end, Barcelona accepted what we wanted to make the deal worthwhile for us."
The 2020 treble winner reportedly agreed on a deal with Spanish giant FC Barcelona over the 33-year-old Pole's future worth 45 million euros plus bonuses of up to five million.
Lewandowski is said to sign a four-year contract in Spain this weekend after his contract in Munich (until 2023) has been terminated.
The spearhead seemed flooded by emotions after his desired transfer seemed to turn into a never-ending story.
Unpleasant poker games between the club and his agent Pini Zahavi increased as did childish power games between player and club.
While time pressure became a serious issue leading to intense negotiations in several rounds over the past two days, one of football's leading strikers, known for his discipline, three times was late for training by a few minutes to express his disappointment, reports Xinhua.
Bayern's leaders insisted on their demand to receive around 50 million euros from Barca. The Spanish side was determined to sign its main target in time for their promotional tour in the United States next week.
In the early hours of Saturday, traffic lights turned green.
Tangible relief of all parties was visible as teammates such as Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, and Joshua Kimmich said goodbye. The following hug with coach Julian Nagelsmann seemed to last some seconds longer.
While the club announced the contract extension of German international Serge Gnabry until 2026, Lewandowski left to meet his family to travel to Barcelona.
Several supporters gathered outside the sealed-off training ground waving goodbye for the last time. Some shouted the forward first name. Many came in shirts with his name written on them.
The Bundesliga might lose one of its all-time greatest after 312 league goals since 2010 for Borussia Dortmund and Bayern.
The two-time European Golden Boot winner (2021 and 2022) not only won 10 national championships since 2010, eight with Bayern but outpaced the goal record of Gerd Muller.
The German icon had scored 40 season goals in 1971-1972. Lewandowski achieved 41 in 2020-2021. As well unforgotten, the Polish team captain's five goals in a league encounter against Wolfsburg in September 2015.
Things had to go fast, as Bayern wanted to exclude Lewandowski's participation at the team's official presentation this Saturday afternoon. Now fans see the face of former Liverpool star Sadio Mane instead of Lewandowski on official posters.
Some say Lewandowski's departure is a happy ending for both sides.
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