“The Europa League is our reality. A new stage begins and you have to win the cup ”. That’s how blunt Xavi Hernández was after seeing how his team was eliminated in the group stage of the Champions League, something that had not happened for 21 years and that marks a turning point in history blaugrana.
Today Barcelona is not in a position to compete with the powers of Europe in the maximum continental tournament. The numbers reflect it, two goals converted and nine against in six disputed dates; the only two games won were by the minimum and against the weakest rival in the area. A shameful present, which came after a series of misconduct sports and financial.
There are divided sensations in the city of Barcelona. While some believe it should downplay the “European second division” tournament, as the local media catalog the Europa League to focus on the league, others are convinced the opposite is true. Barcelona is obliged to win all the crosses and win the title.
The unease hit the players for the elimination (Reuters)
With the painful elimination, the objectives will be rethought, but among the new items it is essential to find that of conquering the Europa League ahead of the other two tournaments (league and Copa del Rey) for various reasons.
The first and foremost is due to the economic issue. After being left out of the Champions League so prematurely, Barcelona found itself with an unexpected blow to its financial coffers, after including 20.2 million euros (USD 23 million) within the general budget that was voted for this season to reach the quarterfinals final.
To be able to amortize this assumption that finally cannot be carried out, those led by Xavi Hernández will have to play a great role in the Europa League, since in case of winning the tournament they would enter about 14.9 million euros (USD 16 , 9 million), also keeping a loss of 5.3 million (6 million dollars).
Xavi Hernández will have to improve the performance of his team (Efe)
Second is the fact of securing a place in the next Champions League. A ticket that is obtained in three different ways. The first totally ruled out is to win the maximum competition, the other two, however, are still possible. One of them is to finish the season among the top four in the local league, and that is where the uncertainty lies.
Today Barcelona is seventh in the table, 16 points behind the leader (Real Madrid) and six behind the fourth (Atlético) with 29 points. Taking into account the current situation, in which Barça won less than half of the games played so far, the culés they must not be trusted and will have to fight for that goal from every possible front.
Therefore, the third option is to be proclaimed champion of the Europa League, since the winner will have a guaranteed place in the next edition of the maximum European competition as happened in this one with Villarreal (he won the final against Manchester United on penalties in Poland ), who finished sixth in the last Spanish championship.
It should be remembered that the last time that Barcelona was left without the possibility of playing even the group stage of the Champions League was in the 2003-2004 season when they finished sixth in the 2002-03 league. On that occasion, those led by Frank Rijkaard were overcoming stages until falling in the eighth against Celtic of Scotland, with Xavi Hernández, Ronaldinho and Puyol on the court (1-0 on aggregate).
Barcelona will play the Europa League again after almost two decades (Reuters)
The third reason why Barcelona must win the trophy on May 18 at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuan (Sevilla Stadium) is to reach the final of the European Super Cup, a title that will be played between the Champions of the Champions League and the Europa League on August 10, 2022.
If the team blaugrana If he participated in this game, he would benefit in two areas. First in the economic one, since just for presenting himself he would receive 3.5 million euros (USD 4 million) and if he won it would increase to 5.5 million (USD 6 million). Although the figure for the victory is not impressive, it will add up when closing the accounts.
At the same time, after eight months after being eliminated from the Champions League in the group stage, Xavi Hernández’s Barcelona would have a new opportunity to measure themselves (and perhaps vindicate themselves) against the best team in Europe, which will be known on the 28th of May, with Bayern Munich being one of the candidates, along with others such as Real Madrid (eternal rival) or PSG (of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Mbappé)
Barcelona said goodbye to the Champions League prematurely (Efe)
Finally, the last reason Barcelona has to compete and win the Europa League is purely for a matter of morale.
In addition to trying to get a trophy that it does not have in its showcases, the Barça institution is obliged to get out of this well that seems to have no end, and this could be an opportunity to do so, with the aim of showing the world that it continues to be one of the largest on the continent.
“A new era is beginning, we will start from scratch and we will work to bring the Barsa where it deserves. You have to win the Europa League, the objective is to win all the titles ”. Xavi, in principle, is clear about it.
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