Iniesta sees no lasting damage

Andres Iniesta doesn’t expect Barcelona’s elimination from the Champions League to be a factor in the rest of the season.

Barca lost 2-1 on aggregate to Atletico to exit the tournament before the semi-final stage for the first time in six years.

Tata Martino’s side now have the Copa del Rey final to come next week and the remainder of the League campaign, with a home tie against Atletico, the current leaders, on the final day.

“This shouldn’t affect us. The Champions League is a very nice competition and every year you have to be here,” Iniesta said, according to AS.

“Now we have La Liga and the Cup final. The pain is here today and tomorrow, this is football and sport.

“I want to thank the fans who travelled to be here. We will continue to give our best.

“Atletico are to be congratulated.”

Iniesta didn’t last the full 90 minutes, subbed off partway through – a decision he wasn’t expecting, he revealed, but one he declined to grumble about.

“I was surprised by the change but the decision is for the Coach,” Iniesta said.

“We have to be comfortable with what we’ve done. We had a great dream and so did they. They have surpassed us in parts and have taken the tie.

“Atletico deserve the semi-final. They were better in the first 20 minutes and caused damage to us.

“They do things very well. They exploit their strengths to the fullest.”

Tags Andres Iniesta