Analysing Xavi’s Poor Champions League Record As Barcelona Manager After Shakhtar Defeat

Analysing Xavi’s Poor Champions League Record As Barcelona Manager After Shakhtar Defeat

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at November 8, 2023 at 2:45 PM
In this article:
UEFA Champions League logo
Robert Lewandowski logo
FC Barcelona logoFPoland logo
  • Xavi Hernandez had a storied playing career including picking up four Champions League winner's medals
  • However, his managerial record in the same competition has been nothing to write home about
  • Sports Brief unpacks the 43-year-old's struggles in Europe's premier club tournament

Xavi Hernandez, despite his successful run this season, seems to be facing his Achilles' heel as a manager - the UEFA Champions League.

Despite his illustrious history as a four-time Champions League winner as a player, he has yet to replicate that success in his managerial career.

Xavi Hernandez, UEFA Champions League, record, Shakhtar Donetsk
Xavi's purple patch run in the Champions League this season was halted by Shakhtar Donetsk. Photos by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates
Source: Getty Images

Initially showing promise with his team securing three consecutive wins and scoring 8 goals while conceding just once, per Sofascore.

However, the recent match against Shakhtar Donetsk highlighted the return to the cycle of disappointment in European competitions under the watch of the 43-year-old.

The outcome on Tuesday, November 7, marked a missed opportunity to secure qualification, as a solitary point against Shakhtar would have been sufficient to guarantee progress to the knockout stage.

What happened between Barca and Shakhtar

In a match where Barca's victory wasn't essential, their performance often resembled a team that lacked the desire to secure a win.

Surprisingly lacklustre throughout, they were consistently outmatched and outplayed in various areas of the pitch.

Despite acknowledging Shakhtar's commendable efforts, it's a no-brainer to condemn Xavi's squad for an abysmal display.

With Danylo Silkan's solitary goal five minutes before halftime, the Ukrainian side significantly shook up Group H.

If the playing body believes their performance in Hamburg was representative of Barca's UCL calibre, they must engage in serious introspection.

Nevertheless, Xavi will undoubtedly bear the responsibility for this disappointing outcome.

Barcelona's dangerous scenario after Shakhtar defeat

Shakhtar's impressive victory not only enabled them to narrow the gap in the group standings but also brought Porto on par with the frontrunners following their triumph over Royal Antwerp during the same evening, as noted by Eurosport.

Veteran Portuguese defender Pepe reached a new milestone with his header as Sergio Conceicao's squad comfortably secured a 2-0 win, setting the stage for an enticing showdown with Barcelona after the international break.

The Catalans, under the guidance of Xavi, will be striving to evade a third consecutive season without qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages.

What Xavi said after shock loss at Shakhtar

Following the end of the disappointing results, the ex-Al Sadd manager conveyed his optimism as he endeavours to rectify his unsatisfactory record in European competitions.

"I'm not worried about the Porto game because we continue to depend on ourselves to qualify and I'm not thinking about anything else," he said as quoted by GOAL.
"At the moment the main thing is to recover for the game against Alaves. My job is for the players to regain confidence and dynamism.
"We have played very good games this season, now we are in a low moment and we have to recover the previous sensations."

Xavi's abysmal Champions League record

Despite Xavi's confidence, his recent defeat to Shakhtar continues to mar his record in European competitions, raising doubts about his capabilities at the highest level, two years after assuming the managerial role at the club.

Overseeing 12 games to date, the 42-year-old has secured only five victories, amounting to 41.66 percent. Likewise, his losses mirror the same percentage, with his team having drawn twice.

Notably, Xavi has encountered Bayern Munich thrice in the competition, failing to score against them while conceding eight goals in return, per SB Nation.

Breakdown of Xavi's 12 Champions League games as Barcelona coach:



Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 FC Porto


Barcelona 5-0 Antwerp


Barcelona 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk


FC Porto 0-1 Barcelona


Barcelona 5-1 Viktoria Plzen


Barcelona 3-3 Inter Milan


Inter Milan 1-0 Barcelona


Barcelona 0-3 Bayern Munich


Bayern 2-0 Barcelona


Viktoria Plzen 2-4 Barcelona


Bayern Munich 3-0 Barcelona


Barcelona 0-0 Benfica


Exciting news! We have a WhatsApp channel 🤩

➡️ Click to join our channel for all your favourite sports news.

Shakhtar shock Xavi's Barcelona

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Barcelona slumped to a 1-0 defeat by Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday, spurning the chance to seal early qualification to the Champions League knock-out stages.

Danylo Sikan's dipping header in the 40th minute secured Shakhtar a famous victory as Xavi Hernandez's flat Spanish champions failed to trouble their Ukrainian opponents.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.