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Soccer News of Tuesday, 19 September 2023


Barcelona’s unfavorable UCL records reemerge ahead of matchup with Antwerp

Xavi Hernandez Xavi Hernandez

Barcelona begins their 2023/24 UEFA Champions League campaign against Belgian club Royal Antwerp with the hope of a much better campaign than the recently experienced.

In the last two seasons, the La Liga club have witnessed themselves drop into the UEFA Europa League after consecutive third-place finishes in their group stages.

The echoes around the Catalan club as reiterated by coach Xavi Hernandez in his press conference ahead of his fixture against Marc Van Bommel's Antwerp, remains the club's desire to successfully qualify from the group stages to the round of 16, as reported by Goal.

The current La Liga Champions' inability to defeat the tall order of securing passage from the group phase of Europe's prestigious club football competition has drawn a keen look into the activities of the club on the continent, and a surprising statistic has popped, which will not please many at the club's hierarchy.

Since the departure of former captain Lionel Messi in the summer of 2021, the Blaugrana club have only secured four victories in their 12 UCL fixtures played within that period.

As reported by Sofascore, two of the victories have been against Czech Republic side Viktoria Plzen, and the other victories being a pair of narrow one-nil wins against Ukrainian side Dynamo Kyiv.

The woes suffered by Xavi's side in the UCL are further marred by their failure to capitalise on their giant status in the Europa League, where they got to compete.

The Blaugrana have faced two quarter-final defeats against Eintracht Frankfurt and Manchester United. Both defeats have resounded the club's need to strengthen its squad to compete on Europe's elite stages.

Fans of the club will hope the new additions to the team, including Joao Felix and Cancelo, will translate to an overall smoother European campaign for Xavi's side.