Joan Laporta publicly backs Xavi after Champions League exit

Laporta gave Xavi his backing when speaking to Barca TV after Wednesday’s disappointment.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has given Xavi a public vote of confidence after the Catalan giants crashed out of the Champions League in the group stages.

The Blaugrana will be playing Europa League for the second consecutive season running after Inter Milan’s 4-0 win over Viktoria Plzen ended their hopes of a knockout berth in Group C.

Barcelona needed the Czech side to pull off a shock win over the Nerazzurri before they took to the field against Bayern Munich, but their fate was sealed before they kicked off at Camp Nou.

The Catalan giants were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by Bayern Munich and are guaranteed to finish third in the group, having taken just four points from five games.

The early elimination from Europe’s top tier is another damaging blow to Barca’s volatile financial situation, but Laporta gave Xavi his backing when speaking to Barca TV after Wednesday’s disappointment.

“The result is a shame, but you cannot blame the players or the coach for anything. We have to look forward because we have La Liga and other competitions left to look ahead to,” Laporta said.

“This is a young project in which from the beginning we knew we were going to have ups and downs. The league remains and we have to show that we continue. La Liga is very important and we are in the race. The message is to look forward. This has already happened.”

Xavi admitted after the game that Inter’s win over Viktoria Plzen affected the mood in the camp, as Barca went out to face Bayern knowing that their efforts would mean nothing in the context of the group standings.

“We have to face reality. I said that we had to grow through hard blows, we have to keep going. We say goodbye to the Champions League, a blow that forces us to be self-critical,” Xavi told the press.

“I understand that people are talking about failure, but we have analysed everything. We have made many mistakes, but in the other games we have competed to deserve something more.

“Barca didn’t compete today, we didn’t reach Bayern’s level. Bayern were better today, they played more intensely and aggressively. The truth is that knowing that we had already been eliminated from the Champions League before the game against Bayern has affected us a lot.

“The truth is that this year, unlike the last, I felt like we had the squad to win this tournament. What happened is unacceptable. In Munich, we were better than Bayern and we didn’t take advantage of that. I was affected after the match in Milan. The refereeing decisions were unfair and so was the result.”

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