In a massive hour-long interview with BarcaTV, FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta shared his views on the club’s Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich and Inter Milan. Predictably, he refused to criticize his team or Xavi, but instead laid blame at the hands of the referees.
At around 23:20, the discussion begins. “The games against Bayern Munich and Inter got on my nerves, to say the least. I think the referees ... didn’t help us,” claimed the Barcelona President. “But, we’re going to look ahead and expect to fight for the league.”
There was no mention of his club’s impending game against Manchester United in the Europa League later this season — it seems like Laporta has completely written off the competition. While winning the Europa would help Barca recoup some of the losses from an early CL exit, teams like Arsenal FC, United, Freiburg, Union Berlin, and others look plenty strong and could easily knock the Catalans out if given the chance. Perhaps this is an example of Laporta implicitly admitting that his team doesn’t have what it takes to compete in Europe.
Or maybe it’s just his M.O. at this point. In the game against Real Madrid in this season’s Clasico, the Barca President actually confronted the match officials in their dressing room after losing 3-1 (and rather convincingly, might I add). Laporta was later fined for his actions.
Maybe, instead of always blaming the refs, he should turn his gaze inward, and ask himself why his club hasn’t improved after spending hundreds of millions and making blockbuster signings all summer.