In 2015, in Berlin and against Juventus, the Barça he was winning his fifth European Cup. Since then, the Blaugrana club has been chaining eliminations in the Champions League, some of them very painful because of how they occurred. Scored goals, incredible comebacks from rivals, humiliations such as Lisbon against Bayern, Barça has suffered with Luis Enrique, Ernesto Valverde, Quique Setien, Ronald Koeman Y Xavi Hernandez.
No coach who has been on the Barça bench in the last six seasons has been spared. Nor have four footballers who touched the sky in Berlin in 2015, but who have also been in all those painful eliminations: Ter Stegen, Piqué, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets.
The four were already headlines in the elimination in the quarterfinals of the 2015-16 Champions League, when Luis Enrique’s Barça fell against Atlético de Madrid after winning the first leg at the Camp Nou (2-1). Two goals from Griezmann in the second leg eliminated a Barça unable to score a goal and harmed by the referee, Rizzoli, who did not signal a clear penalty by Gabi’s hands.
A season later, with Luis Enrique still on the bench, Barça was beaten in the first leg of the round of 16 by PSG in Paris. Those of Unai Emery, with a great Di María, endorsed a 4-0 to the blaugrana, with Piqué, Ter Stegen, Alba and Busquets in the starting eleven. On the return leg, Luis Enrique’s men worked the miracle (6-1) and came back with a great Neymar and a goal from Sergi Roberto in discount. But that dose of optimism was useless because Barça again made water in the first leg of the quarterfinals in Turin against Juventus (3-0) and in the return there was no comeback. Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba did not play that day. The full-back was not having a good time because the coach was betting on playing with a defense of three and he had been the sacrificed player for a few games. Dybala destroyed a Barça that asked for deep changes because many of their players showed signs of exhaustion.
Worse was what happened a year later in the quarterfinals. With Valverde on the bench, Barça traveled to Rome with a comfortable result (4-1), but let themselves go back (3-0) in a shameful performance. Ter Stegen, Piqué, Alba and Busquets returned to be headlines. That of Badia was surpassed that day by the center of the Roman field. Alba constantly let his back win, Dzeko was a nightmare for a Piqué who made him a penalty that meant the second goal for Roma and Ter Stegen was not well either in the first goal or in the third. Other players who are gone, such as Messi and Luis Suárez did not appear either.
LIVERPOOL Y LISBOA
There was much talk after Rome about a necessary change of cycle, but everything continued almost the same and a year later, when it seemed that Barça had risen and was one step away from reaching a Champions final again, another shameful defeat came. . After beating Liverpool (3-0) in the first leg of the semifinals, Valverde’s men fell at Anfield (4-0) and were left without a final. Especially erratic was Alba’s game that day. Neither was Piqué lucky in the area. Neither Ter Stegen in the exits. And Busquets was outmatched by the English physicist.
They are not the only culprits, but all four were at Anfield and repeated in Lisbon against Bayern in the grotesque (2-8). Nobody was saved in Da Luz and some of them, like Piqué, made himself available to the club in case he had to leave. Few things changed. Yes the coach, but with Ronald Koeman Barça fell back into the Champions League last season. After a regrettable 0-3 against Juventus on the last day of the group stage and losing first place, the Blaugrana faced PSG in the round of 16. The French sentenced in the first leg (1-4), with three goals from Mbappe and Piqué, who was returning from a knee injury, being portrayed. All four were headlines. As they were yesterday in Munich, in a new European elimination from Barça.