Football

Barcelona ‘volcano would have erupted’ without Xavi & he is not to blame for Champions League exit, insists Henry

Goal.com

Thierry Henry has said the situation at Barcelona would be much worse without Xavi at the club, despite their early Champions League exit..

  • Henry believes Xavi has held team together
  • Insists coach isn’t to blame for UCL exit
  • Loss massively hurts Barca financially

WHAT HAPPENED? Barcelona were eliminated from Europe’s elite competition at the group stage for the second season in a row on Wednesday night as Inter beat Viktoria Plzen to seal a knockout stage berth before the Blaugrana’s 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich at Camp Nou. Xavi’s side have won just one game in Europe this season and their failure to reach the round of 16 plunges them further into financial disarray, however, Henry believes the situation would be much worse without the Spaniard at the helm.

WHAT HE SAID: When quizzed on the criticism being levelled at his former Barca team-mate, Henry told CBS Sports: “Look at the end of the day result matters, we’ve seen it with Steven Gerrard. The problem at Barcelona is that you don’t have time. But yeah, let me tell you if it was another coach right now at Barcelona, dealing with what’s happening, it would have been a volcano even more than what it is… the volcano would have erupted. But because it’s Xavi, it’s kind of okay.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Henry went on to highlight the chances Barca missed in their away loss to Bayern Munich and a questionable VAR call at home to Inter, but also accepted that Xavi is under a huge spotlight because of a sizeable summer transfer spreee. “They are second in the league. We all know [Robert] Lewandowski should have scored at Bayern but it’s not his [Xavi] fault that Lewandowski missed three chances and it’s not his fault if they didn’t call the penalty on [Denzel] Dumfries, but you’re the coach at Barcelona and you’re going to be judged,” he added. ”Barça have gambled on the Champions League and they need that money because of what they did in the summer.”

IN THREE PHOTOS:

Getty ImagesJordi Alba x Gerard PiqueGetty ImagesRaphinha Barcelona 2022-23Getty Images

WHAT NEXT FOR BARCA? Xavi’s team can’t stay hung up on this result for too long with a tough test against Valencia ahead at the weekend. They sit just three points behind Clasico rivals Real Madrid in La Liga and a win may help confidence in the weeks before the World Cup.

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