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Xavi’s Barça looking ahead despite UCL exit

The Catalan club fell at the first hurdle for the second year running but insist good times will return

Joe Brennan
BARCELONA, 26/10/2022.- (i-d) Marc-André ter Stegen, Robert Lewandowski, Xavi Hernández y Jules Koundé, todos del FC Barcelona, tras el partido de la fase de grupos de la Liga de Campeones ante el Bayern Múnich disputado hoy miércoles en el Camp Nou, en Barcelona. EFE/Enric Fontcuberta
Enric FontcubertaEFE

If he didn’t always dress in black, Xavi Hernández’s choice of clothes might have been seen as a reflection of his club’s position. Bayern Munich rolled the Spanish side over with ease, putting three past them and not really wanting to try for many more. Barcelona will have time to reflect, just like they did at this point last year, but now they must react and look to the future.

After the match, the forlorn figure of Xavi stood in front of the cameras as his players fronted up to the angry fans outside who demanded they returned to the pitch; the squad gave the customary, respectful applause and looked round with blank expressions like they had done for 90 minutes while playing.

We have to face reality. [Bayern] were much better than us”, the boss opened with when asked for his thoughts, “we didn’t compete.”

Knowing that nothing matters in the end

With Inter beating Viktoria Plzen 4-0 before Barcelona’s game kicked-off, the Catalan side knew that a place awaited them in the Europa League, whatever their result. “Knowing we had already been eliminated from the Champions League affected us a lot”, said the boss. Goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen agreed: “it’s a strange feeling, the match ends up being about pride. We feel disappointment. Advancing in the Champions League was one of our objectives but we need to look ahead to what is to come and focus on La Liga.” Pedri, a shining light for the club in recent times, reflected the same message: “Maybe we didn’t come out with the same motivation.”

A clear message came from the club in the post-match musings, with everyone interviewed mentioning either the support from the fans or the fact that the club has to look forward. Laporta, FCB President, was the one who most promoted this message: “We can’t stop here. It’s difficult to play knowing you are already out but the message to the fans is to look forward. We have the best fans in the world and I appreciate all their support.”

Find out how Bayern demolished Barcelona in our live feed stream of the game.


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