Barcelona manager Xavi has admitted that he absolutely despises playing in the UEFA Europa League and that his team’s participation in the competition is a sheer disappointment.
Barcelona were knocked out of the Champions League after finishing third in the group that also contained Bayern Munich, Inter and Viktoria Plzen. They started off with an impressive 5-1 win over the Czech club but were beaten 0-2 by the German on matchday 2.
This was followed by a 0-1 defeat at hands of Inter before playing a 3-3 draw against the Italians. By matchday 5, when they were beaten 0-3 by Bayern, their elimination was confirmed and they signed off with a 4-2 win over Viktoria Plzen.
Finishing third in the group means Barcelona qualified for the knockout round of the Europa League where they will take on Manchester United, first at Camp Nou followed by an away leg at Old Trafford.
Speaking about it, Xavi admitted that even the thought of playing in the competition makes everyone at Barcelona very angry.
We face the Europa League with enthusiasm. I don’t like not hearing the music from the Champions League, but it’s what it plays. Maybe we have to play a little more in the background to grow. We don’t like it, it makes us angry. It’s a great disappointment,” he told BarçaTV+.
“The day we were eliminated, we went out like zombies against Bayern. It makes us angry to be in a competition we don’t want to play even if we reach the semi-final and a hypothetical final.
He added that despite everything, he and his team will do everything to put on a good show in the competition.
“I would like to win La Liga and the Europa League this season. You have to aim to win all the titles. We have a very strong squad, so the pressure is on me. And I like that.” he added.