Spanish press highlights damage to economy after Barca’s Champions League flop

The Champions League has been cruel for Barcelona who will face an early exit next week. Barcelona Photographic Media.

Madrid, Spain | Xinhua | FC Barcelona’s 3-3 draw at home to Inter Milan on Wednesday night leaves the debt-ridden club on the verge of an early Champions League exit for the second consecutive year.

The result, which came after a thrilling game, means Barca must win both of their group games against Bayern Munich and Viktoria Plzen and hope Inter won neither of theirs.

However, given that Plzen are arguably the weakest team in the competition and Inter’s next game will be at home against the Czechs, no one expects a miracle and Barca’s fate might even be sealed before kick-off at home to Bayern on October 26 if Inter beat. Plzen at the start of the kickoff.

“The Champions League was cruel to us,” Barca coach Xavi Hernandez said after the game, in which his side’s defense left big spaces for Inter to exploit in the second half.

The Spanish sports press was also cruel on Thursday morning, with Madrid’s Diario AS and Marca both twisting the knife.

‘On the brink of disaster every year’, headlines Marca, whose Barcelona columnist David Sanchez defines Barca’s Champions League display as ‘frightening and ridiculous’, adding that ‘Xavi is shown’ by it.

Diario AS have highlighted the sale of club assets that Barcelona made this summer to allow them to spend around €150m on new signings and bring players within their salary cap.

“865 million euros thrown away and in ruins”, title AS, also affirming that the project of the president of the club Joan Laporta “has been undermined”.

Pro-Barcelona ‘El Mundo Deportivo’ expressed disappointment that ‘no Barca player took the responsibility to speak in the mixed zone’ to waiting journalists, and highlighted the economic damage suffered by the club.

“The club could lose more than 21 million euros if they do not reach the quarter-finals,” said the newspaper, adding that the club had calculated this 21 million euros in its budget for the season.

Finally, ‘Sport’, another Barcelona-based newspaper, headlined “Barça can’t overcome their demons in the Champions League”, with another headline “Eyes looking down, disbelief, shame… the image that reflects the drama of Barça like no other.”

On Sunday, Barca travel to the Santiago Bernabeu stadium to take on Real Madrid: a game that offers a chance for redemption – or utter despair.

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