Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez has said his side was not up to standard after being drawn in “the worst Champions League group in years.”
The Catalans play their last group fixture against Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday. But, Barca stand no chance of qualifying, with Bayern and Internazionale having advanced from Group C.
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“We have nothing to play for, but this [Viktoria Plzen] is an important match,” Xavi said. “We want to finish this competition well.
“We lack maturity. We have a lot of youngsters and we had the worst Champions League group in years. We had injuries. These are not excuses, but it hurt us. Compared to last season, we have a better team and we have given a better image in Europe. But we fell short.”
Much was expected of a Barca team who spent over €150m this summer window with Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde and Raphinha among the players arriving at the club.
However, Barcelona have won just one and lost three of their five Group C matches and have only themselves to blame, according to Xavi.
“We lost it [the chance to qualify] ourselves,” Xavi added. “We had the opportunity, and it eluded us. There are details such as refereeing decisions and unfavorable situations, but you have to be self-critical.”
“We tried to participate in the Champions [League] and it was not enough,” Xavi said. “The steps we took compared to last year were smaller than expected, but we have to be patient and keep working.
“We must persist and we must not hesitate. We are in the Europa League. We are on the right path. The titles will be won in 2023, we have to wait to see if we have options.”
Barcelona are currently second in La Liga, one point behind league leaders Real Madrid ahead of Saturday’s league fixture against Almeria.