Barcelona’s embarrassing Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich on Wednesday night made it 10 hammerings they’ve suffered in just the last four years.
Julian Nagelsmann looks like he's enjoying sending Barcelona into the Europa League. ?#UCL #UEL pic.twitter.com/hlIffThrV2
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) December 8, 2021
Xavi Hernandez’s arrival in the dugout was meant to signal a new era for the Blaugrana, but it was more of the same in Bavaria, with the Catalans looking no match for their elite opponents.
You deserve it Barca for every bit of corruption at your prime. pic.twitter.com/3VqrHnu3JP
— FootballFunnys (@FootballFunnnys) December 9, 2021
It’s unfair to throw too much of the blame at Xavi’s door, given how far back the problems date from.
Started against PSG
Indeed, the first of those 10 thrashings was in 2017 at the Parc des Princes against Paris Saint-Germain.
— Madridismo Real™ (@MadridismoreaI) December 8, 2021
That 4-0 almost seemed like an accident, given it occurred to a Luis Enrique team that contained the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Andres Iniesta.
And the 6-1 remontada back at the Camp Nou certainly papered over the cracks that the Parisians had exposed.
But it was a sign that an era was ending, and the 3-0 loss to Juventus three weeks later confirmed just that, as did the exits of Luis Enrique and Neymar.
The streets are saying Divock Origi is responsible for Barcelona's downfall ? pic.twitter.com/dJprikcNBM
— GOAL (@goal) December 9, 2021
The humbling results in Europe came thick and fast in the ensuing seasons, with the 3-0 reverse at the hands of Roma in 2018 followed by the well-documented 4-0 to Liverpool.
But worse remarkably was to come with the now infamous 8-2 hammering by Bayern in 2020, a result that led Messi to send his Burofax message demanding a transfer.
The little maestro ended up staying but the embarrassments continued, with a 3-0 loss to Juventus followed by a 4-1 defeat to PSG.
UCL goals this season:
Cristiano Ronaldo: 6
FC Barcelona: 2 pic.twitter.com/4xVkGXlkdh
— Hass™ (@GoatCF) December 9, 2021
As such, and with the club’s issues so well known, the beatings have been more expected this term but no less painful, going down 3-0 twice to Bayern and also to Benfica.
That makes up the 10 terrible nights, and now comes the ignominy of competing in the Europa League after their group phase exit from the Champions League.
That’s not something anyone could’ve imagined in 2017, but it’s been the worst period in Barcelona’s recent history – and it will take some coming back from.
Xavi – and Joan Laporta – have their work cut out.