After two disappointing UEFA Champions League campaigns, FC Barcelona would be aiming to make it big this season. Since Lionel Messi departed from the club, Barcelona has been twice relegated to the UEFA Europa League. However, despite the reinforcements to the squad this season, Barca coach Xavi seemingly doesn’t have high expectations from his team.
Speaking ahead of FC Barcelona‘s first Champions League clash against Antwerp, Xavi declared the club’s goals for this season. The former FC Barcelona star said, “Our goal is to reach the round of 16 of the Champions League.” He further added that the club has failed to reach the round of 16 in the competition for the last two years. However, Xavi’s words have rubbed Barca supporters in the wrong way.
He has accepted his fate 😭🤣
— Aeon (@Utd_aeon) September 18, 2023
Many fans feel that Xavi has set the bar for FC Barcelona in the Champions League embarrassingly low. They feel that for a club of FC Barcelona’s stature, reaching the round of 16 is the bare minimum.
Xavi’s words have gone viral on social media platforms, with the Barca manager getting trashed by fans for his statement. One fan even went to the extent of writing, “He has accepted his fate.“
Here are some best reactions from fans:
Despite winning the Champions League five times, FC Barcelona has struggled to find its form in the Champions Leagues. However, the Catalan club has been fortunate to be in a comparatively easy group this season. Moreover, Xavi‘s men are heading into the Champions League in fine form. With such conditions, the onus is on Xavi to bring FC Barcelona’s slump in European conditions to an end this season.
FC Barcelona becomes the lowest-spending team in the Champions League this season
Despite their financial difficulties, FC Barcelona has managed to pull off a great transfer window. The club’s poor economic conditions have hurt Barca in the transfer window for the last two to three years. Moreover, Barca has become the lowest-spending team out of all 32 teams in the Champions League this season.
FC Barcelona has spent just $3.6 million in the 2023-24 summer transfer window. The club has signed players like Joao Felix, Joao Cancelo, Ilkay Gundogan, Inigo Martinez, and Oriol Romeu this season. However, while Ilkay Gundogan and Inigo Martinez arrived as free agents, Felix and Cancelo arrived on loan. Oriol Romeu was the only player whom FC Barcelona bought for around $3.6 million.
— Managing Barça (@ManagingBarca) September 18, 2023
Barca’s spending is even lower than some of the underdog teams like Young Boys and Copenhagen. Meanwhile, PSG has emerged as the biggest spenders in the competition this season having spent around $350 million. Manchester City ($256 million), Arsenal ($250 million), Manchester United ($220 million), and Bayern Munich ($165 million) are the other big spenders in the Champions League this year.