Football

Lewandowski's comments irk Bayern boss

CHAMPIONS  LEAGUE GROUP B
BAYERN MUNICH ANDERLECHT

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has fired back at Robert Lewandowski after the Poland hotshot criticised the Bavarian giants' spending policy.

Bayern crashed to a shock 2-0 defeat by Hoffenheim on Saturday which left them sixth in the German league table - their worst position after the first three games since the 2010/11 season.

The mood ahead of tomorrow morning's (Singapore time) 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 if they are serious about winning the competition for the first time since 2013.

They set a new Bundesliga record in June by signing France midfielder Corentin Tolisso from Lyon for 41.5 million euros (S$67m), but Lewandowski feels Bayern risk being left behind by Europe's top clubs.

Bayern's president Uli Hoeness had already described the 222m euros Paris Saint-Germain paid for Neymar, and the signing of Kylian Mbappe in a deal which could reach 180m euros, as "madness".

Rummenigge told German daily Bild: "Apparently, Robert was irritated by the Paris transfers. He is employed by us as a footballer, he earns a lot of money and I regret his statements."

Rummenigge also accused his 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 Bayern's coach Carlo Ancelotti and players of not doing enough to help him score.

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

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

When asked if Lewandowski will be dropped because of his comments, Rummenigge said that is for the coach to decide, not him. - AFP

bayern munichRobert LewandowskiChampions League