Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski has brushed off criticism for shouting at teenager Lamine Yamal and appearing to snub his 16-year-old teammate during Sunday’s win over Alaves.
Yamal only turned 16 in July – he was handed his debut by Xavi last season aged just 15 – but has already become a regular for the senior side. Indeed, the weekend was his sixth La Liga start this season and he has featured in every game in some capacity across all competitions.
But the youngster found himself at the centre of a mini storm involving Lewandowski. There was a moment in the Alaves game when Yamal didn’t play the ball when the veteran striker wanted, opting to shoot himself instead, followed by a swift verbal rebuke.
In the aftermath, Yamal went over to his much older teammate, offering a hand. But Lewandowski appeared to deliberately blank him. It sparked media reaction and suggestions the 35-year-old should do better as a senior star and a mentor-like figure to younger players.
Lewandowski, who scored both goals in the 2-1 Barcelona win, has hit back.
“Ignoring Lamine Yamal? There is nothing to comment on, it was a total accident. Sometimes I shout during a match, but that’s normal,” he insisted when addressing reporters.
Further footage later emerged showing Lewandowski exchanging much kinder words with Lamal during the game, offering his colleague constructive but calm advice which appeared to be welcomed and keenly taken on board.
The result marked a second successive La Liga win for Barcelona after losing the season’s first Clasico against Real Madrid last month, ensuring they just about keep pace with Catalan neighbours and surprise league leaders Girona.