Barcelona manager Xavi has revealed that he hates listening to the Champions League anthem, with his team not in the competition.
“These are the championsssssssssssss,” let’s not pretend that we haven’t all sung the words to the anthem before a game in Europe’s biggest competition.
Fans of his team might not feel the same as the Norwegian in fairness, as they’ve been known to boo the anthem, as well as the Premier League one, but generally it’s a staple of big European nights.
Of course, as you might have guessed, it’s actually because the Spaniard’s team has been knocked out of the competition already this season.
Instead they’re facing Manchester United in the Europa League play-off on Thursday, but he believes they should be in Europe’s top tier.
“It still makes me angry to listen to the Champions League anthem from home. For history and greatness, we should be there,” the Barca boss said in his pre match press conference.
Xavi definitely not singing the Champions League anthem here. Image: AlamyThe Spanish league leaders did start the season in the Champions League but were knocked out at the group stages, dropping into the Europa.
Xavi did admit that his side didn’t deserve to be in the competition, adding, “We have to face reality.
“We are excited about this competition [the Europa League], which has been very beautiful for the teams that have remained.
“It’s always important, and more so in Europe, since we’re coming off a few seasons without success. It’s a good test, without a doubt, to see that we can compete in Europe.”
Both Barca and United will be hoping to return to the Champions League next season but whoever wins the tie will be amongst the favourites to take Europa glory, in Hungary come May.