Skip links

Robert Lewandowski completes Barcelona move from Bayern Munich

Barcelona have announced the signing of Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich, becoming the LaLiga club’s fifth arrival this summer.

Bayern president Herbert Hainer confirmed on Saturday that clubs have reached a verbal agreement to transfer the 33-year-old striker, but the move is now complete.

Barcelona said in a statement that Lewandowski would sign a four-year contract with a €500 million release clause. He had 12 months left on a Bayern contract and moved to Barcelona for €45m with a potential €5m in add-ons, the 26-time Spanish champions confirmed.

The Poland international joined his new teammates on Barca’s preseason tour of the United States on Monday ahead of their friendly against Major League Soccer side Inter Miami on Tuesday night.

Lewandowski has twice won the Golden Boot as Europe’s leading goalscorer and finished as runner-up for the 2021 Ballon d’Or. He joins Pablo Torre, Franck Casey, Andreas Christensen and Rafinha as Barcelona looks to form a team to compete for LaLiga and the Champions League under coach Xavi Hernández.

Inter Miami vs. Barcelona result

Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville said before the match that the friendly against Barcelona was “the greatest match in the club’s history”.

This may have been the case, but it did not evoke fond memories for the home side as Barcelona embarrassed the MLS club 6–0 in a pre-season friendly at the DRV PNK Stadium in FT. Lauderdale. The Catalan club ran the show from the opening whistle to the final kick, creating wave after wave of pressure, while Inter Miami did their best to keep it up. Meanwhile, the hosts had almost nothing to go on, with the attacking third barely snuffing out.

While Robert Lewandowski was not quite ready to participate, the other three new signings starred for Barcelona in the first half. Rafinha scored a goal and led for two assists, while Franck Casey pulled all the strings and Andreas Christensen blanketed former Real Madrid frontman Gonzalo Higuain.

In the second half, the Barcelona substitute ragged the second-string Inter Miami lineup and canceled a three-goal performance of his own. Inter Miami took both David Beckham’s son Romeo and Neville’s son Harvey off the bench for cameos, but it was only a short respite on an otherwise extensive defeat.

What if the LaLiga giants had made no transfers for seven years?

Like many of us, you’re probably wondering: What’s going on in Barcelona?

Back in 2018, they claimed that they were about to become the first soccer club to generate $1 billion in annual revenue. Fast forward to a year ago, and the greatest player of all time, Lionel Messi was forced – through tears – to leave the club because they could no longer afford him. Fast forward a month and Barcelona president Joan Laporta was describing the club as “medically dead”. Fast forward to today, and they have announced the signing of Frank Casey, Andreas Christensen, Rafinha and Robert Lewandowski.

My ESPN colleague Sid Lowe explained the situation in detail last week, but a quick refresher: LaLiga basically has an expense limit determined by the difference between a team’s revenue and a combination of squad costs and loan repayment. Given those dreams of billions of dollars in revenue, you rarely hear the cap mentioned in the context of Barcelona. He spent wildly on transfer fees and even more wildly on player salaries when life was good – and then a pandemic hit.