Barcelona manager Xavi has apologised to fans after his side were well and truly beaten by Real Madrid in Sunday’s Supercopa de Espana final.
A first-half hat-trick from Vinicius Junior fired Madrid to a 4-1 victory which by no means flattered Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who ran riot against a particularly underwhelming Barcelona defence.
Xavi had been confident heading into the game but, once the final whistle had blown, was forced to change his tune and admitted things could hardly have gone worse.
“We had a lot of hope and enthusiasm but we got the worst game of all,” Xavi said. “We started very badly, we were able to grab one back but the goal for 3-1 made things difficult for us.
“Madrid did a lot of damage to us on the counter, we have not stopped those counters, those transitions, and now we have to live the bitter side of football. I apologise to the fans because it has been difficult for us to compete, but I have experienced many defeats in my career and in the end we recovered. Barca will return. It will return.”
Pressed on the defeat in his press conference, Xavi added: “It’s a tough defeat, we’re angry. We have played one of the worst games of the season. We have to improve a lot to win titles. We must apologise to the Barcelona fans. This is not the image of Barca in a final and even less so against Madrid.”
Xavi insisted Barcelona must learn from the crushing defeat so as to ensure they never experience such a loss again.
“May it help us to compete better,” he said. “There will be hard days now with plenty of criticism, and we have to accept it, we have not been at the level that the final required.
“I am disappointed and angry, both as a cule and a coach. It was not the image of a final. It’s a tough loss but there’s a lot of the season left. We have to compete for three titles. It’s a hard blow for the club and the players but we will return.”