Clement Lenglet has apologised to Barcelona fans after he was pictured smiling with Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski in the immediate aftermath of his side’s exit from the Champions League.
The Frenchman was one of many Barcelona stars who underperformed during Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat – as well as throughout their entire European journey – and his smile with Lewandowski had some fans calling for him to have his contract terminated on the spot.
To make matters worse for Lenglet, young midfielder Gavi was visibly distraught after the result and was seen crying as he went down the tunnel, which was the kind of reaction that fans were looking for.
Amid an wave of criticism and abuse that came his way, Lenglet took to Instagram to explain that he was obviously disappointed with the result and was simply pictured laughing at a comment made by Lewandowski.
“I want to send a message to all the culé fans,” he wrote. “First of all, my sadness for yesterday’s result. This club deserves the greatest and we have not been able to provide that.
“Secondly, I want to explain an image of me in which I am smiling with Lewandowski about something that had just happened at that moment. It is a specific reaction that in no way reflects my feeling towards the result.
“My values are unquestionable and anyone who knows me knows my commitment and love for my profession, for Barça and especially for the fans. I would never react like that towards something that still hurts me today.
“Today, we are very sad but we now have a mission: to get Barça back where it deserves to be.”
Lenglet has not been a permanent starter under new manager Xavi. He was benched for the side’s only two wins under the new boss so far – against Espanyol and Villarreal – but came back in for the 1-0 defeat to Real Betis.
He kept his place against Bayern but was off the pace from start to finish, and fans were quick to remind Lenglet that it’s been a while since they actually saw him on the pace.
Under contract until 2026, Barcelona are in no rush to sell Lenglet, but Xavi is keen to usher in a new era and has been tipped to offload a handful of regular starters.