Barcelona have suffered Champions League group stage exits in successive seasons after missing out on a qualification spot to Bayern Munich and Inter this campaign.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta gave his full backing to coach Xavi Hernandez after their embarrassing Champions League exit on Wednesday night.
The Catalan giants crashed to a humiliating three-goal defeat at home to Bayern Munich after their elimination from the group stage had already been confirmed, even though there is still one round of matches remaining.
Goals from Sadio Mane, Erick Choupo-Moting and Benjamin Pavard condemned Barca to another demoralising loss against the German champions. It was the second successive season that Bayern had not only won by three goals at the Camp Nou but had done so without conceding a shot on target.
It had already been confirmed that Barca could not catch either Bayern – who have won all five group stage matches – and Italian side Inter, who secured four points in their two group stage games against Xavi’s side, which ultimately proved decisive.
But Barca president Laporta refused to blame Xavi or the players after the game, telling Barca TV: “The result is a shame, but you cannot blame the players or the coach for anything. We have to look forward because we have La Liga and other competitions left to look ahead to.
“This is a young project in which from the beginning we knew we were going to have ups and downs. The league remains and we have to show that we continue. La Liga is very important and we are in the race. The message is to look forward. This has already happened.”