Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez slammed his squad after a humiliating 4-1 loss to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final on Sunday.
The Spanish champions were hammered by their fierce Clasico opponents in Saudi Arabia, and Xavi believes his squad provided a poor performance.
“We were lacking in every way and have to apologise to the fans, we did not show the level to compete in a final,” Xavi said reporters after the game.
“As a Barcelona fan, I’m disappointed; we put on one of our worst performances of the season.”
“This is not the image that Barca have to show, especially in a final against Real Madrid.”
Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior scored three goals in the first half, including two inside the opening ten minutes, while Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski also scored.
In the second half, Rodrygo completed Real Madrid’s defeat, while Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo was sent off for two cautions, both for fouls on Vinicius.
“We did not stop counter-attacks and runs, we started in the worst way in a final, we were trailing for the whole game,” he said.
“We reacted well with Robert’s goal and then with the penalty, the game basically ended there.”
Xavi said that his squad needed to improve on their faults after the setback, but that three titles were still on the line this season.
On Thursday, Barcelona will face third-tier Unionistas de Salamanca in the Copa del Rey last 16.
“It’s a trophy lost, we have to be self-critical (but) I still believe in the project and we can still have a great season,” the coach was quoted as saying.
“I think we can turn the situation around … everything continues, I’ve been in these situations many times, there’s nothing for it but sucking up the criticism.”