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Xavi: “It has to be a turning point to change the dynamics and many things”

Xavi Hernandez managing Barça on the sideline during Wednesday’s 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich / FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona suffered a 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in the final game of the UEFA Champions League Group Stage. The result eliminated Barça from the Champions League and relegates them to the Europa League as the Blaugrana finished in third place in Group E with seven points.

Xavi Hernandez, Joan Laporta, Ronald Araújo, and Sergio Busquets spoke to the media following the match.

Here is what Xavi said:

About the loss against Bayern:

“They have been better, superior, and although we have tried and pressed hard, they have submitted us—contrary to what we want and this is the harsh reality.”

“Reality tells us that we have not been at the level of Bayern. It is a harsh reality, but this is the case .”

About being eliminated from the Champions League

“I am going pissed off because this is our reality and it annoys me a lot to face this reality, but we will do it.”

“It has to be a turning point to change the dynamics and many things. We have not competed. This is the Champions League, and now the Europa League is coming. We will face it with all the dignity in the world.”

About playing in the Europa League

“I think a new era is beginning and we have to work very hard to take Barça where it deserves, which is not to play the Europa League but to play the Champions League.”

“I have seen a very harsh reality. Unfortunately, sometimes I also lived it as a player, and what I have said to the players, we do not have to settle, we have to reveal ourselves. It is difficult to assume it, but it is what we have, and we need to start from scratch, which is not playing the Europa League. I hoped we would compete better, but we have to be honest, and we lack many things.”

“This cannot happen again. We have to compete for the Champions League, not for the Europa League, and start working now.”

Here is what Laporta said:

About looking forward to the future

“Now, more than ever, we all have to row in the same direction. The players have done everything they could and more. It has not been possible. We are sad, and we have to look forward to continue working and continue reversing the difficult sporting and economic situation.”

Here is what Araújo said:

About the team’s performance

“It is a very broad result, and they had chances to do more. We started the game well, but they got the chances they had. It was a very big emotional blow. It’s a shame because we were excited to be able to pass. We have to keep working. Not qualifying is not a matter of this match; it was from before. We are working hard with the new coach.”

About Barça losing its stature as one of Europe’s best teams

“It is true that we are not among the best. It is a reality if we had not passed [into the knockout stages].”

About the team’s expectations in the Europa League

“I am confident in the great team we have for the rest of the season. We played good games like [against] Benfica, but we couldn’t get through. The goal is to win the Europa League. It’s the competition we have in front of us, and we are Barça. We have to go to compete and win the Europa League.”

Here is what Busquets said:

About the loss and state of the club

“We leave with bad feelings. It is clear that it is not what we wanted. It is not what the club or the fans deserve. We wanted to continue in the Champions League and fight to go through phases, but this is the reality. The reality is that we are going to the Europa League, and we have not managed to qualify. We are in a tough, difficult, and painful situation, but there are many factors that have led us to this. We know the delicate situation of the club. Things have not been done quite well. The players have also lacked many things on the pitch to achieve more points and results. Everything makes it a very complicated situation.”

About ambitions to restore Barça’s greatness

“I have no doubt that we are going to come back. We also have to be in bad times. We are going to give everything. Surely the fans will too. Many teams have gone through this situation not far away. I remember that many have played the Europa League—teams like Chelsea, even Bayern Munich for more years. But in the end, when you get the sport right, Barça will do well for that.”

“People know that Barça is a great club. We know it, and we know what it is. For a few months there has been a change of management. Recently the staff changed, and we know that there is an economic problem that is going to be difficult, but I have no doubt that we are going to return, and that this is a step backwards to give momentum. It is not the best situation or the one we wanted, but you also have to be in the bad. We are going to give everything, and surely the fans that are from Barça are really too.” 

About winning the Europa League

“It is clear that we have a team to win the Europa League and compete in it. I have been in the world of football for many years, and I know that we are going to get better. In football, results and goals rule, and we are going to go up. We have to face the Europa League in the best way. I am going to help as much as I can. We want to leave Barça where it deserves.”