Spanish media round on Barca for 'massacre that will never be forgotten'

"Messi's throne is beginning to wobble'
Spanish media round on Barca for 'massacre that will never be forgotten'
Barca humiliated 8-2 by Bayern

SPAIN'S media showed little mercy to Barcelona after their humiliating 8-2 defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals, calling for huge changes at the club after a night that will be difficult to erase from their memory.

'Historic humiliation', cried the cover of Barcelona-based newspaper Sport, adding: 'A ridiculous Barca suffered its biggest defeat in Europe, ending a lamentable season without a trophy for the first time in 12 years.'

"Vergüenza" (shame) was the headline splashed across Marca's front page on Saturday, describing the game as a “massacre that will never be forgotten”. It added that Setien, who was hired in January to try and restore some style and flair to the team, had 'one foot and a half out of the door'.

Daily Mundo Deportivo described the defeat on its cover as 'A shameful end to an era', also declaring that coach Quique Setien would be immediately sacked as coach and that president Josep Maria Bartomeu would call an election imminently.

National newspaper AS used the same headline as Sport, adding: 'The disaster against Bayern opens up a crisis with far-reaching consequences at every level of the club.'

AS’s columnist Javier Miguel accused captain Lionel Messi of being the first Barca player to give up any efforts of revival. “He would do well to watch his friend Neymar’s game against Leipzig,” Miguel wrote of Messi. ”His throne is beginning to wobble.” 

Sport gave defender Nelson Semedo a rating of one out of 10 after he was tormented by Alphonso Davies in the build-up to the fifth goal scored by Joshua Kimmich. It gave Setien a rating of zero, adding: 'He cannot spend one more day in Barca's dugout.'

AS also said Setien's days at the club were numbered, adding that former Tottenham Hotspur coach Mauricio Pochettino was waiting in the wings, despite previously saying he would never coach Barca due to his loyalty to former club Espanyol.

AS said Bayern had ‘flattened a pathetic’ rival that currently exists in a state of ‘painful ridicule’ and in one opinion piece Sport said that Bayern had ‘ridiculed Barcelona on a nightmare evening’.

The papers also carried quotes from defender Gerard Pique demanding change and president Josep Maria Bartomeu promising it.

Their websites named Pochettino, out of work since being sacked by Spurs last November and a former boss of Barca’s local rivals Espanyol, as one of the leading contenders to replace Setien.

Pique called for widespread changes at Barcelona in media interviews after the game. "It was a horrible game, the feeling is terrible, embarrassing is the word," Pique said on the club website. "I think now we have hit rock bottom.

"We can't compete like that, you can't play like that in Europe. It is not the first time, the second time or the third time, it's very tough.

"I hope it is useful for something.

"Now everyone has to have a good look at themselves, the club needs change and I am not talking about the coach or the players, I am not pointing the finger at anyone. Nobody is safe, I am the first to say that I will go if new blood has to come in, I am the first to leave.

"We have to have a real look internally about what is best for the club."

President Josep Maria Bartomeu insisted changes have already been planned for next season, and will be confirmed next week.

As well as a likely new manager, Barcelona's 2021 presidential elections could even be brought forward.

"It has been a very, very tough night. I am sorry for the Barca fans and members, for the players, for everyone," said Bartomeu.

"We were not the club that we represent, I am so sorry. There are some decisions that we had already made, and others that we will make over the next days.

"Announcements will be made from next week, we need to make decisions after things have calmed down.

"It was a devastating result. I congratulate Bayern, they played a great game and deserved to go to the semi-finals.

"We were not up to the occasion and we can only apologise to the members and fans."

Former midfielder Xavi, who is in charge of Al Sadd in Qatar, and Ronald Koeman were also said to be in the running.

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