Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez admitted he was ‘angry’ after his side’s limp three-goal defeat against Bayern Munich and confessed that the Europa League was the club’s new ‘reality’
An angry Xavi Hernandez admitted that Barcelona must face the “reality” that they are now a Europa League team.
The Catalan giants failed to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time since the 2000/01 campaign after failing to progress through their group.
Wednesday night’s three-goal defeat against Bayern Munich sealed their fate in the competition, coupled with Benfica – who qualified in second spot – defeating Dynamo Kiev in Lisbon.
It is a damning outcome for the club who have also struggled domestically this campaign – they currently languish in seventh spot in La Liga and 16 points behind league leaders Real Madrid.
Barca managed to score just two goals in their six Champions League group games and failed to find the net in any of their four group games against Bayern or Benfica.
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They failed to register a shot on target in their opening day three-goal defeat against Bayern at the Camp Nou before their nadir saw them crash to a three-goal defeat in Lisbon against Benfica.
There is an argument that Barca were fortunate to be in second spot going into the closing round of fixtures after Benfica striker Haris Seferovic missed a golden chance in injury during their goalless encounter at the Camp Nou last month.
Xavi addressed the media immediately after his side’s comprehensive defeat in Munich, admitting that the club did not deserve to progress through to the Round of 16.
He blasted his side for ‘not competing’ against Bayern and admitted that their position in the Europa League was their new reality.
Xavi explained to Spanish TV: “Today, Bayern were better than us, they were superior.
“We have tried; we have pressed high, taken the ball from them but our situation is the harsh reality that we have.
“Today is the start of a new chapter for us and we have to start demanding a lot more from ourselves, we must use this as a turning point to change many things.
“Today we did not compete with a top team and our reality is that we are a Europa League team.
“We are going to face this reality with all the dignity in the world and work to bring Barca back to where we deserve to be, which is not the Europa League.
“It really annoys me to face our reality, I am angry. Barça does not deserve this. There are many circumstances that have made us like this.
“I feel responsible for the outcome, I thought we could qualify but it has not been like that. Anyone who tries never fails.
“Our Europa League challenge? We have to win it, win every game and title.”
Xavi and Barcelona must now deal with their new reality in a development which will provide a fresh financial hit for the club.