Explained: Reason why Barcelona will have to play a round of 32 Europa league playoff after UCL exit

Before even kicking a ball against Bayern at Camp Nou, Barcelona were knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage for the second consecutive season.

However, as Viktoria Plzen have not picked up a point in Group C, Xavi’s side have another Europa League knockout campaign to prepare for.

Because they have dropped into Europe’s secondary club competition as a result of their failure in the Champions League, Barca must play a playoff round to actually qualify for the last 16. In that two-legged tie, they will face one of the teams who finish the Europa League group stage as runners-up.

Those two matches will be played on February 16 and February 23, with the draw to be made prior to the start of the World Cup on November 7. Barcelona cannot be drawn against another Spanish team in that round.

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Ahead of gameweek four in the Europa League group stage on Thursday, the current runners-up in the groups are as follows: PSV, Rennes, Ludogorets, Braga, Manchester United, Midtjylland, Qarabag and Trabzonspor.

Despite having nothing to play for, Barca must still travel to the Czech Republic next week to face Viktoria Plzen. They will then have to wait less than a week to find out their round of 32 playoff opponents.


Tandoh Enoch is a Social Media Manager, Website Developer and Designer, Blogger, Content Writer and an IT Consultant . He is a creator and editor at, an online digital platform focusing on Credible and Timely news in Ghana and worldwide.

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