Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez reflected the mood at Camp Nou after another 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich and their elimination from the Champions League, sombre and melancholy.
Inter’s win over Viktoria Plzen, which the Barcelona players watched as a group before their own fixture with Bayern Munich, had confirmed their exit from the Champions League. In 2023 they will drop into the Europa League for the second straight season.
Speaking to Marca after the match, Xavi admitted the Inter result played a part in their motivation.
“Today we have not reached their level, they have been better. In Munich it was us, but today they have been better, more intense. The elimination affected us psychologically. Tomorrow, we train and think about LaLiga. There were high expectations, we had a difficult group. Everything possible happened to us. It has been very cruel. We didn’t compete well today.”
However he also admitted the inescapable truth – Barcelona did not compete with Bayern Munich.
“We know that everything has happened to us, all possible situations. I understand that from the outside there is talk of failure, but inside we do different analysis. The first thing is our mistakes, that we have not been at the level due to effectiveness or errors. The way we went out of the competition, waiting for a game to finish, is also cruel. We leave feeling. If we analyse the other games, I think we deserved more”.
Although their fate was more or less sealed before this match, the manner of their defeat seemed like it was being confirmed for the third time.
Equally, the cruelty Xavi speaks of allowed many to feel that while Barcelona were not good in their previous matches, they were also unfortunate. The limp form of their loss adjusts the perspective – Barcelona are simply not good enough for the Champions League.
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