Barcelona are just a point off the top of La Liga but their elimination from the Champions League is a mistake that they cannot correct this season. The Blaugrana failed to qualify for the Round of 16 in Europe, despite budgeting for the quarter-finals and spending significant money on revamping their squad in the summer.
The star addition to the squad was Polish striker Robert Lewandowski. He has so far been in brilliant form, scoring 17 goals in 16 matches for Barcelona.
“We are evolving. I did not expect to arrive and that everything would go well in the first season. I insist, it is a process that requires time and patience.”
Equally, he did not shy away from calling their European exit a failure.
“Barça should be in the round of 16. Before coming to Barcelona I was already aware that the first season could be harder than it should be. We are in a process of reconstruction that needs time, we have to be more patient.”
Lewandowski highlighted a lack of knowledge of how to win matches rather than actually play well as one of the problems. It is perhaps what separates Barcelona and Real Madrid most over recent years.
“We have to face some situations with more intelligence, in football sometimes you have to know how to win and not how to play to win, and that’s what has happened to us. But these things make us stronger for the future.”
“With everything that Barça have suffered in recent years, you cannot expect everything to change in a month. It needs time and it will no doubt improve.”
Perhaps expectations of Barcelona were raised prematurely, but they were lifted by President Joan Laporta and manager Xavi Hernandez. Both have spoken about competing in every competition. The risk implied by their heavy investment also necessitates short-term success.