'Historic Disaster': Spanish Press Blasts Barcelona After Their Champions League Elimination
13:01 GMT 09.12.2021 (Updated: 14:27 GMT 25.10.2022)
© AFP 2022 / CHRISTOF STACHEBayern Munich's German midfielder Jamal Musiala and Barcelona's Uruguayan defender Ronald Araujo vie for the ball during the UEFA Champions League group E football match FC Bayern Munich v FC Barcelona in Munich, southern Germany on December 8, 2021.
Lionel Messi's departure has not only left Barcelona without their captain and talisman, but also resulted in their mounting struggles on the pitch. Not only are the former La Liga champions languishing in seventh place in the Spanish league's standings, they have now been eliminated from the Champions League as well.
Barcelona's demotion to the Europa League after being dumped out of the UEFA Champions League's group stage for the first time in 21 years has been dubbed a "historic disaster", with Spanish media ripping into Xavi's struggling club.
Barca's quest to make the last 16 of Europe's premier club tournament was undone by their sloppy effort as they were completely annihilated by a dominant Bayern Munich team at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.
In what was a must-win game for the Catalans in Germany, Xavi's men lacked both the intent and the form to put up a formidable challenge.
In the end, it was all too easy for Bayern as the Bundesliga team coasted to a comfortable 3-0 triumph, sending Barcelona out of the competition before the knock-outs for the first time in more than two decades.
Mocking Barcelona's disappointing showing, sports outlet Marca put up a picture of defender Gerard Pique on their cover in which he's seen showing his frustration at not being able to prevent his team's loss.
Another publication, Sport, called the defeat a "sad goodbye to the Champions League", while Mundo Deportivo claimed that Barca have been demoted to "below zero" as the newspaper took a dig at their relegation to the Europa League.
On the other hand, Diario AS compared their Champions League elimination to being "in hell" with their headline grabbing worldwide attention from football fans.
"Barca's historic disaster, who have failed in the group stage of the Champions League 21 years later and are condemned to the Europa League," the media outlet added.
The Spanish press' overwhelming criticism of the once mighty team came on the back of Barca manager Xavi hitting out at his players before promising to make drastic changes in the squad.
"We have to demand more of ourselves. We're Barcelona. This has to be a turning point to change the dynamic and many things. We haven't competed. This is the Champions League," the Spanish great said after his team's defeat.
"Today a new stage begins and we start from scratch. Our goal is the Champions League, not the Europa League," he added.