UCL: Xavi Sets Unwanted Barcelona Record

Five-time European champions Barcelona will play in the Europa League after they finished third in their group following a 3-0 to Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Barca needed to match Benfica’s result to advance, but the Portuguese side won 2-0 at home to Dynamo Kyiv, leaving Xavi’s men third and facing a Europa League knockout round play-off.

The defeat, in what was a ‘must win’ game, marked the first time Barcelona failed to make the knockout stages of the Champions League in 17 years.

Barca have not been absent from the last 16 since 2003-04, when they did not qualify for the competition at all.

Intriguingly, current boss Xavi who replaced Ronald Koeman last month was a player when Barca last failed to make the Champions League knockout round.

This exit continues a miserable campaign for the Spanish giants after financial issues forced them to let club legend Lionel Messi and a host of key players including Antoine Greizmann leave for Paris St-Germain and Atletico Madrid in the summer.

The draw for the Europa League takes place on Monday in Nyon, Switzerland and Barca will play one of the Europa League group runners-up.