Over 55,000 turn out to welcome new Barça signing Lewandowski

Barcelona, Spain, Aug 5 (EFE).- More than 55,000 spectators were at the Camp Nou on Friday to witness the official presentation of Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, Barcelona’s marquee summer signing, in one of the best attended player unveilings in the history of the Catalan club.

More spectators turned up to see Lewandowski wearing the iconic number 9 jersey than when Neymar Jr made his debut in 2013, when Zlatan Ibrahimovic first wore the Barça shirt in 2009, when Ronaldinho signed in 2003 and Thierry Henry in 2007.

The decision to give Lewandowski the number 9 was a strategic one, said club president Joan Laporta, who thanked the player for his efforts in pushing through the transfer from Bayern Munich.

“It was not easy, believe me. This operation has been possible because the player wanted to come to Barça,” said a jubilant Laporta. “Today is a historic day.”

The striker’s first words were in Catalan: “Estic molt content de estar a Barcelona”.

“I am very proud to be here, to be a player of FC Barcelona. It was a long way, but in the end I am here. My happiness is very high, and I am sure that in this stadium we will give you a lot of goals and a lot of victories,” he told the crowd.

Later in the press room he admitted that the affection of the spectators had been “incredible” and that he had felt “moved” during the presentation.

“It’s hard to find the words. When I saw the project, I made the decision. I know that Barça is coming from a difficult moment, but (now) everything will be much better. My teammates have a lot of potential and with this team we can do very good things,” he said.

The Barcelona president said that the addition of Lewandowski was special because of “his charisma and ambition”.

“We have seen him today, people are excited. We are facing a new stage and he is one of the references,” Laporta said.

Lewandowski signed last month for 45 million euros from Bayern, where he won the Bundesliga eight times and the Champions League once. EFE


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