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Hunting his second Pichichi Award — Barcelona’s Lewandowski finds his feet at the right time

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Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona’s game against Villarreal on 27th January earlier this year changed a lot of things for the team moving forward.

Not only did the Catalans lose the game in a gut-wrenching manner, but Xavi also announce his resignation from the club, saying that he would leave at the end of the season.

Since then, however, Barcelona’s fortunes have turned. The team are playing under much less pressure, and seem to be finally getting back to their best form.

Jules Kounde seems back to his best playing as a right-back, while Ronald Araujo has found his feet in central defence after a concerning few months earlier this season.

Raphinha also looks like a man refreshed, and is racking up the numbers playing as a left-winger, while Joao Felix has also done rather well across the last few weeks.

But none of them seem quite as rejuvenated as Robert Lewandowski, who is somehow back in the race for the Pichichi this season.

Lewandowski on a mission

Roberto Lewandowksi currently sits on 13 goals and eight assists in La Liga for Barcelona, only three behind leaders Jude Bellingham, Ante Budimir, and Artem Dovbyk (all on 16).

However, for the longest time this season, it did not look like he even had the slightest shot at retaining his Pichichi Trophy from last season.

Lewandowski seems to have taken Xavi’s resignation personally – as he should -, and seems hell-bent on delivering his best performances.

He has five goals and three assists in nine league games — and two against Napoli in the Champions League —, since Xavi’s big announcement.

And while that may seem in line with his tally of eight goals and five assists in 19 games before that, a closer inspection of his form will clear things up.

Lewa was enjoying a rather comfortable spell when the season started, scoring five and setting up three goals in six games before his form starting dipping around October.

He went on a four-game league drought (six across the UCL and La Liga) before slotting home two against Deportivo Alaves. However, even including those, the Pole could only muster up three goals and two assists in nine games leading up to the Villarreal defeat.

It has been a difficult season for Lewa. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

This inconsistency is largely why Barcelona’s goalscoring fell short this season despite higher quality of attack and chance creation, especially through the likes of Lamine Yamal, Joao Cancelo, and Ilkay Gundogan.

Lewa’s numbers, and overall influence on the game has increased massively over the last two months, and fans will be hoping he can make a difference vs PSG in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Can Lewa go for the Pichichi

Jude Bellingham looked set to win the Pichichi for the longest time, but the Real Madrid talisman’s numbers seem to have dried up in 2024. He has three goals (and two assists) in seven games since the turn of the year.

A large part of that is also the red card he received following the Valencia draw, and an injury in February.

However, Madrid seem to be awfully close to the finish line in La Liga right now, and should they be able to push their boat over in the next few weeks, Bellingham could be rested – especially if they go far in the Champions League.

Ante Budmir, Artem Dovbyk, Borja Mayoral, Alexander Sorloth, and Gorka Guruzeta are all realistically also in the race for the Pichichi, and dealing with a less hectic schedule than Lewandowski.

The tail-end of this season, in terms of individual glory, therefore, could turn out to be one of the best photo-finishes fans have seen in a long time.

At this point, though, it is anyone’s game, including Lewandowski, who will be fired up to get back on the podium.

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