‘It’s a huge rebuild’: Joe Cole claims new boss Xavi will need to recruit a clutch of top new players after Barcelona’s dismal Champions League exit – insisting with the current group they simply can’t compete
- Barcelona lost 3-0 to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night
- BT Sport pundit Joe Cole believes cash-strapped Barca face a total rebuild
- Xavi’s side were comfortably beaten and drop into the Europa League
- The Catalan giants have not been absent from the last-16 since 2003-04
BT Sport pundit Joe Cole insists it is a ‘huge rebuild’ after Barcelona were eliminated from the Champions League, having suffered a 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich at a snowy Allianz Arena on Wednesday night.
Thomas Muller opened the scoring for the Bavarian giants on 34 minutes with a header following a Robert Lewandowski cross, and a 30-yard sublime strike from Leroy Sane doubled their advantage on the night just before half-time.
Youngster Jamal Musiala added a third in the second half, as the home side condemned more misery on the Catalan giants, who fail to progress to the last-16 for the first time in 14 years.
Thomas Muller gave Bayern Munich the lead on the night at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday
Leroy Sane fired a ferocious 30-yard effort past Barcelona goalkeeper Marc Andre-ter Stegen
To put that into context, 19-year-old striker Ansu Fati and playmakers Pedri, 18, and Gavi, 17, were not born when they failed to advance in 2003-04.
‘This might be a good thing for Barcelona. Having Xavi at the helm, he’ll quell any dissenters. It’s a huge rebuild’, Cole said in the studio at full-time.
‘I wouldn’t say there are three players – outside the young players – they’d want to keep hold of.
‘So they have to bring players in. As long as the fans understand where they are, we could see them back in two or three years. They simply can’t compete in the Champions League with that group of players.’
Joe Cole insists Barcelona faced a total rebuild and believes the current players can’t compete
Xavi’s side had to match Benfica’s result in the other game being played in Group E, but the Portuguese giants eased to a 2-0 victory at home against Ukrainian side Dynamo Kiev to book their place in the quarter-finals.
Barcelona finished on seven points in the standings and only managed two goals in the whole of the group stage, with those coming in both games against Dynamo.
The draw for the Europa League takes place on Monday at 12:00 GMT in Nyon, Switzerland with Barca set to face one of the Europa League group runners-up, with Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Rangers one of their potential opponents.