Former Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski still believes in a successful season with FC Barcelona despite being eliminated in the second round of the Europa League. "We are disappointed but we can still win titles this season," wrote the 34-year-old on Instagram.
Barcelona were knocked out of Europe by a 2-1 draw with Manchester United but still lead the Spanish championship table by eight points ahead of Real Madrid. "We fought until the last minute but unfortunately that wasn't enough tonight," wrote Lewandowski, who even put Barça ahead against United with a converted penalty. Coach Xavi Hernández also encouraged his team after the disappointment. "We have to be self-critical and try again next year and get stronger," said the 43-year-old.
The Spanish media, on the other hand, were harsh on the team. "Europe is a size too big for Barcelona. Even after 153 million euros for new players, the team around coach Xavi Hernández is not able to gain importance in international competition," commented the newspaper "Marca" on Friday. "From disaster to disaster," wrote "Sport". Previously, the Catalans had already missed the round of 16 in the group stage of the Champions League behind Bayern and Inter Milan.
The Catalan newspaper "Mundo Deportivo" nevertheless praised the fighting spirit of the team around national goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen: "A new setback on the European stage, but this time with our heads held high," wrote the newspaper. Barça failed "honorably". The defeat also hurts the traditional club financially. The newspaper "AS" calculated that the club lost 14.4 million in income as a result.