Barcelona crashed out of the Champions League on Wednesday, losing 3-0 at home to Bayern Munich after beating Inter Viktoria Plzen 4-0.
A 3-0 defeat at Camp Nou saw Xavi’s side drop to the Europa League, six points behind second-placed Inter, with just four points from five games in Group C.
This is the second season that five-time winners Barcelona have failed to reach the last 16 of the Champions League, having made it 17 seasons in a row.
But this time it could be even more harmful. Barcelona spent more than £130m on new signings in the summer, including £40m on Robert Lewandowski, and their season budget run to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
“The dream is gone” – Spanish newspapers
Barcelona’s meek exit from the competition drew outrage from Spanish sports newspapers and Catalan newspapers. The sport labeling it a “complete failure”.
Their front page describes Barcelona’s 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich as “the saddest game ever”. Journalist Sergi Capdevila writes that winning the Europa League is “no one’s consolation”.
Mundo Deportivo just as bad, with the words “ciao” and “kaput” on the front page, bowing to Sergio Busquets and describing Barcelona as “victims of their own inefficiency”.
“So far,” writes Joan Pocci in his Camp Nou match report, “Barcelona’s return to European greatness is a dream.” Columnist Santi Nolla writes: “It’s just a failure.”
Joanne Laporta, the club’s returning president, “needs immediate success,” adds Nolla.
“He used asset sales to build a team that could get past the group stage. He didn’t need to win the Champions League, but certainly to get to the next stage.
“They can still win La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Europa League, but the great dream is gone. Barcelona are not ready to compete with the big teams in Europe.”
Elsewhere, L’Esportiu It uses the word “sin” on the front page, describing Barcelona as “impotent and unable to compete with Europe’s elite”.
Based in Madrid ASmeanwhile, describing the evening’s events as a “night of terror”, referring to Barcelona’s exit alongside La Liga counterparts Atletico Madrid, who were denied a penalty in their 2-2 draw with Bayer Leverkusen. stop time.
“An endless nightmare,” writes journalist Santi Gimenez, describing Barcelona’s exit as a “total failure” that he described as the club’s worst in “a quarter of a century”.
Xavi: “Stone left Barcelona” | Pedri: It’s a failure
Head coach Xavi described Barcelona’s departure as “brutal” and said after the game: “We weren’t at Bayern’s level today. They were better. We were ourselves in Munich, but today they are better, stronger.
“Going out before the game affected us psychologically. Now we will train again tomorrow and think about La Liga.
“There were a lot of expectations, but we have a tough group. Different things happened to us in the group stage. It was cruel to us, but we didn’t compete well today.
“I said we have to be united, we have to deal with the situation properly. We are out of the Champions League, but the season doesn’t end in October. There are other competitions.”
Midfielder Pedri added: “Obviously it’s a failure. Barca have to get out of the group and we don’t deserve to continue in the Champions League because we didn’t.
“We’re a very young team with a lot of room for improvement, we’ve made some great signings but it’s not enough for us to compete in the Champions League and that’s very disappointing.
“We’re missing a lot, but we have to criticize ourselves. It’s true that we deserved more in Munich, there were a few situations in Milan… but after seeing what happened today, it’s clear that we’re not ready to compete. In the Champions League.”
Sharma: The wage bill is a big issue for Barca
According to Spanish football journalist Rick Sharma, Barcelona’s huge wage bill is a bigger financial threat to the club than a Champions League group stage exit.
“Almost surprisingly, a knockout win now, rather than in the quarter-finals, is only around €20 million different for Barcelona in terms of prize money, plus a little extra in terms of TV revenue and potential sell-out crowds.” said Sharma Sky Sports News.
“So if they can get to the Europa League final, it won’t be too different. It doesn’t mean the club aren’t still in big financial trouble. They are huge.
“But the elimination of the Champions League is not the main factor, the big wages they have.
“Financially, the big issue for Barcelona is getting rid of players like Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and even Frenkie de Jong, who tried to move in the summer.
“All of them have bigger contracts than the margin of missing out on the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
“It’s not good not to get that extra income. But around 20 million euros is not something that will break Barcelona. They are already in a lot of trouble.”
Now what will happen to Barca? Manchester United can make the playoffs
Barcelona will have to face one of the runners-up in the Europa League group stage to reach the last 16 in the Europa League round of 32 playoffs.
The playoffs will be played in two legs on February 16 and February 23, with the draw taking place on November 7 before the start of the World Cup.
Barcelona cannot face another Spanish team in this round and their potential opponents will change depending on what happens in the remaining two rounds of Europa League group stage games.
But depending on the situation, the sides currently ranked second in their respective groups PSV Eindhoven, Rennes, Ludogorets, Braga, Manchester United, Midtyjylland, Don’t look the and Trabzonspor.
Other sides who finished second in their respective groups are also included Arsenal, Fenerbahçe, Roma, Lazio the and Monaco.
Barcelona cannot face their Spanish rivals Real Betis to eat Real Sociedadthey are currently in first place in groups C and E respectively.
Other giants were relegated to the Europa League
Barcelona aren’t the only European giants to qualify for the Europa League.
Juventus Third in Champions League Group H with just three points from five games, Maccabi Haifa will need a better result against group leaders Paris Saint-Germain than they did against Benfica in the last round to avoid a permanent exit from Europe. .
Atlético Madrid They are level with Juventus in Group B, but face surprise leaders Club Brugge in the final game, while Diego Simeone’s men host second-placed Porto.
Ajax the and SevilleCurrently third in Groups A and G, they could also be relegated to the Europa League, with a play-off draw likely. Tottenham They are top of Group D, but only two points separate them from Marseille ahead of the final round.