FC Barcelona is down bad.
For the second straight year, the La Liga club has been eliminated from the UEFA Champions League following Inter Milan’s 4-0 win over Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday.
Because of Inter’s win, Barca has to move down to Europa League next year no matter what transpired in their match with Bayern Munich and their final match with Viktoria Plzen next week.
Europa League, which was formerly known as the UEFA Cup, is a tier below Champions League.
Barca fans learned of the Inter win over Viktoria Plzen and were seen leaving the stadium at their home Camp Nou at halftime. Bayern Munich went on to win 3-0 to remain undefeated in the group stage of Champions League.
If last season was a disappointment, this one surely rubs fans the wrong way. Barca was expected to be a powerhouse this time around after adding 150 million euros to their payroll to bolster their squad, including striker Robert Lewandowski for 45 million euros.
Those transfer window additions, which include Raphinha and Jules Kounde, were expected to jolt Barca out of the group stages and into the round of 16. Instead, it could cost them up to 20 million euros depending on how they play in Europa League.
Champions League did start well for Barca this year, collecting a 5-1 win over Viktoria Plzen. But that would be the only match they come out victorious.
They lost three matches prior to their fourth on Wednesday, while drawing in a 3-3 bout with Inter for a 1-1-3 record. Barca has just four points in the group.
Previously, Barca made the round of 16 in 17 straight seasons from 2004-2021.
Lionel Messi, a Barca legend who has moved on to play with Paris Saint-Germain, will be playing in the round of 16. They recently defeated Maccabi Haifa, 7-2, where Messi and Kylian Mbappe scored twice, while Neymar scored once.
Barca will now focus on what they can control: their destiny in Europa League and La Liga. They are currently behind Real Madrid in the 2022-23 La Liga campaign by three points with a 9-1-1 record.
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