Gerard Pique and Co. humbled by ruthless Bayern Munich invasion
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique claims the 7-0 aggregate loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League semifinal was probably “the worst moment of my career”. The center-back scored an own goal in the 3-0 drubbing of his side at the hands of Bayern Munich at Camp Nou on Wednesday.
The other two goals from an unrelenting Bayern Munich side came through Argen Robben and Thomas Mueller. Barcelona were clearly missing the services of their crown jewel Lionel Messi. The Argentinean goalscoring machine was ruled out of the game after being deemed unfit to play.
“Perhaps this was the worst moment of my career at Barcelona,” Gerard Pique said. “With or without Lionel Messi, the result would have been the same. Messi is the best in the world. Obviously it's not the same without him on the pitch but I don't think things would have been so much different with him.
“It's not pleasant living a situation like this one. We tried in the first half but after the first goal we just fell apart. The last 45 minutes were so hard.”
Meanwhile, Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez admits Bayern Munich were “extraordinary” and deserved to play in the final at Wembley on May 25. The midfield maestro refused to present absent players as an excuse for Barcelona’s defeat at Camp Nou. However, Barcelona were indeed playing without many players from the first-team.
The senior players missing from Barcelona’s squad includes Carles Puyol, Javier Mascherano, Eric Abidal and Sergio Busquets. Jordi Alba was also on the sidelines, but because of suspension rather than injury.
“Right now they (Bayern) are at an extraordinary level. They have been better and very much deserve to be in the finals,” Xavi told Canal Plus. “Physically, we've been in bad shape with regards to players missing. Busquets, Abidal, Puyol, Mascherano...they are important players. But neither is that an excuse. Bayern have been better. Mentally strong, physically extraordinary.”
When Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova was questioned about Lionel Messi’s health, the Spanish boss chose to remain cryptic.
“Messi was not injured, but he was not feeling okay, and I thought that in his situation he would not help the team,” Tito Vilanova said. “He played in Bilbao because he was in much better condition, but at the end of the game he contracted some strange sensations.
“We would have taken the risk of playing Leo towards the end of the match if we still had a chance of making the final. Bayern are physically at a great level. The difference today between the sides was massive and I congratulate them on their progression, but also thanks to our fans for their support.
“We've been suffering with injuries all season and at this level you pay for that. Every squad needs to be changed, but we have a good squad already. We don't need to make a lot of changes as we have some players who are still recovering.”