Xavi Hernandez Names Barcelona's Surprise Champions League Ambition Ahead of Antwerp Clash

Xavi Hernandez Names Barcelona's Surprise Champions League Ambition Ahead of Antwerp Clash

Ero Samson
updated at September 19, 2023 at 10:11 AM
In this article:
Spanish La Liga logo
SPA La Liga
UEFA Champions League logo
  • The UEFA Champions League resumes today
  • Barcelona have underperformed in recent editions of the competition, failing to progress from the group stages
  • Coach Xavi Hernandez has named the club's ambition for the new Champions League season

Barcelona kick off their 2023/24 UEFA Champions League season with a home clash at the Estadio Municipal Lluis Companys against Belgian champions Royal Antwerp.

The Catalan club, who have won the competition on five different occasions, have struggled to replicate the performances they showed on course to clinch their titles in recent years.

Barcelona have not made it out of the group stages of the competition in the last two editions, and the club is looking to change that.

Barcelona, La Liga, UEFA Champions League, World, Getafe, Xavi, Lamine Yamal, Lewandowski
Xavi Hernandez has revealed Barcelona's immediate UCL ambition for this season. Image: Joan Valls.
Source: Getty Images

Ahead of their clash against Marco Van Bommel's Antwerp, coach Xavi Hernandez has come out to highlight the Spanish powerhouse's target for this season's edition of the competition.

Xavi on Barcelona's Champions League ambition

In the last two editions, the Spanish club finished third under the guidance of the former midfielder, and are hoping to bring to an end their run of failed Champions Leagues.

Speaking to the media, as quoted by Goal, Xavi said:

"The players are very enthusiastic, but we must not have an obsession. We must be ourselves and impose our personality. The goal for now is to pass the group stage, then we will talk."

The 42-year-old also highlighted the qualities the current squad possess.

"Last year, in Europe, we were good in terms of play but not in results. Now we have strengthened ourselves and we have to show that we can compete and fight for it."

Being seeded as the favourite to qualify in Group H, as reported by Goal, Xavi will fancy a run of consecutive wins in the early phase of the competition so as to avoid any late upsets, as witnessed in last season's edition against Inter.

Lamine Yamal could break UCL records

Lamine Yamal recently set a new record as Spain's youngest debutant and goalscorer, and looks on course to further imprint his name in the record books as he is in line for his first start on club football's biggest stage, the UEFA Champions League.

With Barcelona kicking off their campaign against Belgian Champions Royal Antwerp, Sports Brief looks at four records Yamal could set if he features in tonight's encounter.

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Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).