Barcelona coach Quique Setien says his side still have what it takes to win this season’s Champions League regardless of their dismal finish to the La Liga campaign. Barca surrendered the title to Real Madrid after Thursday’s 2-1 defeat by Osasuna, resulting in fierce criticism from captain Lionel Messi who mentioned his side had no hope of going far within the Champions League.
Barca play their concluding league La Liga game of the season at Alaves on Sunday earlier than organizing Napoli on Aug. 8 within the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. Should they progress, they’ll qualify for the eight-team tournament being held in Lisbon as a one-off event because of the competition being postponed as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.
“He (Messi) is right that if we play as badly as we have done in some games we won’t win anything but we have had great moments,” Setien instructed a information convention on Saturday. “The important thing is we all know how we need to improve, and we need to learn to be a more reliable team. If we can play as well as we did in the (4-1 win) against Villarreal, then I’m sure we can win the Champions League.”
Setien additionally dismissed strategies Messi was taking intention on the coach when he criticised the workforce’s run of type since January, the month the 61-year-old took cost after Ernesto Valverde was sacked.
“Absolutely not. We all say things in certain moments that can be wrongly interpreted. Things like that happen every day in moments of frustration and I don’t give it too much importance,” Setien added. “The team has not been playing as well as it should and we all need to take a break, clear our heads, transform ourselves and return to being the team we can be.”
Setien met with Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu on Friday. “It’s normal to have meetings like that, we are all concerned about getting the team to improve and that’s what the meeting was about, to prepare for the future with optimism,” Setien mentioned.