Barcelona’s arch-rivals Los Blancos lifted their 35th league crown and are in the Champions League final too.
Los Blancos won the La Liga title, their 35th in history, and will now compete in the UEFA Champions League final too.
The Blaugrana, meanwhile, will end the season empty-handed despite massive improvements under Xavi, largely in the league.
Their performances in cup competitions under Xavi were poor, though, as the Blaugrana were knocked out of the Copa del Rey, the Spanish Supercup and the UEFA Europa League.
Given the contrasting fortunes of the El Clasico rivals this season, despite the Blaugrana pulling off a stunning 4-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu in March, Xavi has lamented his team’s inability to compete for honours.
Speaking at a press conference, he said, as quoted by Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo:
“I’m sure it affects many Catalans. We are antagonists and it’s a reality. They told me in November that the main objective was to get into the Champions League. We are in these circumstances.”I came with the illusion of winning titles and it has not been possible. Doing a general assessment, the team has improved a lot but we have not known how to compete for titles. Barça has to fight for titles.”
Barcelona were down in ninth position when Ronald Koeman was sacked in October and fears of finishing the league outside the top four were real.
However, Xavi has lifted them up to second place in the La Liga table, albeit trailing their fierce rivals by a staggering 15 points.
Coaching Barcelona is very demanding, says Xavi
Xavi has brought some of the swagger back to Barcelona in the last six months but admits coaching a club of the Blaugrana’s stature isn’t an easy job.
Even if the Blaugrana achieve a runner-up finish in La Liga, it would hardly be considered a success, especially with Real Madrid on the brink of a league and European double.
Reflecting on the demanding nature of the Blaugrana managerial position, he added:
“We have to improve the team. Most of those who have played have improved in the game and have performed at a high level. The Barça shirt weighs much more than anywhere else.”You have to win and do well. There is a very demanding environment. Every game is an exam. Barça is excellence and you have to be demanding”.
Barcelona play away at Real Betis in La Liga on Saturday.