New Barcelona manager Xavi was left fuming after they were knocked out of the Champions League following a loss against Bayern Munich. They failed to reach the knockout stages for the first time since the 2003/04 season. The defeat meant that Benfica leapfrogged them into second place after their 2-0 win against Dinamo Kyiv in the other group game. Xavi was highly critical of the players and conceded that the club is no longer at the same level as Bayern.
“Bayern dominated us,” Barcelona manager Xavi said. “We always want to dominate but it was the opposite here. We must demand more. We’re Barca. This must be a point of inflection to change the dynamic and many more things. This is the Champions League, but this is also our reality. It’s the situation we’re in. I’m angry. This is the reality and it p***es me off. We have to tackle it face-on. There’s nothing else for it. A new era starts today. We start from zero. Our objective is the Champions League, not the Europa League, but that is our reality now and we have to try and win it.”
“I’ve seen how tough the reality is,” he added. “I hoped we would compete better. Bayern is better. That’s the reality. But we’re going to work hard and give our all so that this doesn’t happen again. It’s a feeling of helplessness. We have to start to get Barca back where they belong, which is not in the Europa League.”