Robert Lewandowski has described his much-criticised outburst towards Barcelona team-mate Lamine Yamal as a "complete accident."
Yamal, who's just 16, was on the end of a furious blast from the Polish striker and then snubbed for a handshake during Sunday's 2-1 win at home to Alaves. Lewandowski, criticised for his recent performances, emphatically ended his worst goal drought in 13 years by netting twice in Barca's comeback victory but has been on the end of more criticism than praise in the wake of the match.
Cameras captured the 35-year-old lambasting Yamal after the teenage sensation chose not to pass to him in a forward area with the scores at 1-1, shortly after Lewandowski had equalised with a spectacular header.
After winning a corner a few minutes later, Spain international Yamal came towards Lewandowski and held out his hand to try and make peace with the former Bayern Munich marksman. Instead, Lewandowski continued looking in another direction and walked past his young team-mate.
Upon flying to Poland for international duty, Lewandowski was quizzed on the incident and attempted to pour cold water on the situation. "It was just an accident," the striker told reporters in Warsaw.
"I has helped him several times, giving him advice, even in this match. It's normal to say or shout something on the pitch. The entire situation is a complete accident and has no meaning."
That's unlikely to see Lewandowski escape criticism, though, as ex-Barca midfielder Gerard Lopez described the Pole's actions as "unacceptable" on Spanish TV channel Movistar. In addition, Barcelona academy product Gerard Autet told Esport3 : "Things like this happen, but it is a disproportionate, bad reaction."
Nevertheless, all appears to be well between Yamal and Lewandowski. They were seen celebrating together and having a conversation after the Poland captain had scored the winning goal from the penalty spot, as he called Yamal back for a brief chat. The Blaurgana came from behind in the La Liga clash, having conceded to Alaves less than a minute after kick-off.
Barcelona sporting director Deco was asked about the incident on Catalan radio station RAC1 and affirmed: "I'm sure there's no issue between Lewandowski and Lamine Yamal. He's the first one defending him."
On reports that Barca are lining up a younger challenger for Lewandowski in January, ex- Chelsea midfielder Deco added: "Lewandowski has a contract and we are very happy with him. He's one of the leaders of the team."
During the aforementioned press conference, Lewandowski was also asked to comment on another eye-catching incident which occurred the previous weekend. He was spotted seemingly ignoring his manager, Xavi, on his way back to the dressing room after the Barca boss subbed him off in their late 1-0 win away to Real Sociedad.
"First of all, I have distance myself from it because it happens not only to me, but also to other players," Lewandowski claimed. "The Spanish press lives with such exaggerated situations. I had a doping control test, someone in the back was talking to me and I couldn't ignore him. I don't want to explain myself, because there is nothing to do with."
Get involved! Did Robert Lewandowski cross the line? Let us know your verdict in the comments section.
Image:Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Numerous Barcelona players have been on the end of criticism in recent weeks, particularly after losing El Clasico to arch rivals Real Madrid. Xavi's side sit four points behind surprise league leaders Girona after 13 games and next travel to face Rayo Vallecano.
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