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Xavi hails ‘natural leader’ Robert Lewandowski after Barcelona brace

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Barcelona manager Xavi hailed the qualities of Robert Lewandowski after he bagged a brace in the convincing 4-0 win over Real Valladolid.

The Catalan giants jumped up to third in La Liga after cruising to victory at Camp Nou, and now have seven points from a possible nine.

Barca have scored eight goals already and conceded just once, and look far more dangerous with Lewandowski, a summer signing from Bayern Munich, spearheading the attack alongside Raphinha and Ousmane Dembele.

It was the Pole who gave Xavi’s side the lead against Valladolid before Pedri doubled Barcelona’s advantage just before half-time. Lewandowski then grabbed his second and Barca’s third, with Sergi Roberto adding the gloss in stoppage time with a well deserved fourth.

Speaking in his press conference after the game, Xavi addressed Lewandowski’s influence on the team, as well as the expectations of supporters and the need to look ahead to the next game rather than dwelling on a positive result.

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“He is happy, he feels comfortable. He has a great responsibility to come here and make a difference, he generates a lot in attack and speaks with the youngsters,” Xavi said. “He is a natural leader who helps us, a blessing to have him in the group. And he also scores goals, spectacular.

He added: “I see it on the street, when I go with the family I see very positive people, there are very high expectations, this is better than last year, when there was negativity.

“I prefer this pressure, welcome this challenge and we have to take advantage of this enthusiasm of the fans. I’m already thinking about Sevilla, we’ve played a complete game, but not perfect, there are things to improve, we have to go step by step.”

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