Barcelona wants to brace for some powerful instances forward whereas adjusting to the post-Lionel Messi period.
That message was clear after the 3-0 loss at dwelling to Bayern Munich within the Champions League on Tuesday, the group’s first defeat since Messi left amid the membership’s monetary struggles.
“It is what it is, we are what we are now,” veteran Barcelona captain Gerard Piqué mentioned after the Catalan membership was outplayed from the beginning on the Camp Nou. “It’s a complicated season.”
Looking nothing just like the group that used to thrive when Messi was on the sphere, Barcelona couldn’t get a single shot on purpose your entire match and noticed Bayern continuously threaten the opposite manner.
“We would like to have competed better, but this is what we have right now,” Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman mentioned. “I can’t complain about our attitude, we tried our best. But there is a difference in talent and a difference between a team that has played a long time together and our team with lots of young players. It is difficult to accept, but we have to keep working.”
The loss got here greater than a year after the embarrassing 8-2 debacle in opposition to Bayern within the quarterfinals of the Champions League two seasons in the past, a defeat that started exposing Barcelona’s struggles on and off the sphere.
“Poor Barça,” learn a front-page headline from sports activities every day Marca on Wednesday.
“The sad reality,” mentioned the every day Sport.
Koeman, who was employed shortly after the rout in opposition to Bayern, mentioned it is going to take time for Barcelona to return to a high stage.
“Our young players have a lot of potential, in two or three years they will be playing much better,” Koeman mentioned. “But right now, it is what it is.”
Koeman additionally lost Antoine Griezmann within the switch window final month, when the group’s primary addition was Netherlands ahead Memphis Depay. The membership added veteran Sergio Aguero however he’s among the many a number of gamers recovering from harm, together with children Ousmane Dembélé, Sergiño Dest and Ansu Fati. Koeman used 18-year-old Yusuf Demir and 17-year-old Gavi on Tuesday. Pedri González, additionally 18, was a starter.
“I look at the positive fact that we had some 18-year-old players coming into the match,” Piqué mentioned. “It’s our reality now.”
Barcelona can have to rely quite a bit on its children because it tries to get better from dire monetary situations brought on by the pandemic and poor administration. The Catalan membership wasn’t in a position to hand Messi a new contract and noticed him depart free of charge to Paris Saint-Germain, one of many primary contenders for the Champions League title this season.
President Joan Laporta requested followers to hold supporting Barcelona and mentioned he wants time to get the membership again on observe.
“I am upset and disappointed as all of you are,” he mentioned in a video message. “I need to tell you that what is happening is one of the situations that we expected. And I ask for your patience, and that you continue supporting our team. I also ask for your trust in us, the people who are managing the club. We need your trust and time, and do not doubt that we will solve this situation.”
There have been indicators Barcelona followers weren’t too optimistic once they failed to purchase all tickets accessible for Tuesday’s match, one thing that hardly ever occurred when Messi was nonetheless round, particularly in an enormous Champions League match.
Piqué mentioned it was “hurtful” to hear jeers from the Camp Nou crowd for Sergi Roberto, who was singled out for his poor efficiency whereas taking part in improvised on the precise flank.
To make issues worse, Pedri and Jordi Alba sustained muscle accidents throughout the match and are anticipated to be sidelined for some time.
Piqué mentioned the subsequent few weeks shall be key for Barcelona, a five-time champion in Europe’s high competitors.
“We need to win our next matches in the Champions League and stay among the leaders in the Spanish league,” Piqué mentioned. “Right now we are not considered favorites but we will see what happens at the end of the season. Chelsea also wasn’t the favorite to win the Champions League last season.”
Barcelona’s subsequent match in Group E shall be at Benfica later this month. Benfica opened with a 1-1 draw at Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday.