Barcelona: Thrice is unforgivable

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Barcelona will be looking to avoid another Champions League humiliation when they take on Napoli on saturday.

The Catalans have suffered disappointing exits at the hands of Roma and Liverpool in the last two seasons.

After losing out on the League title to Real Madrid, Quique setien will be wanting to lift the mood at the club.

Setien still has eight players who played in the quartre-finals of the 2017/2018 Champions League within his ranks.

Ter Stegen, Nelson Semedo, Pique, Jodi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Rakitic, Suarez and Messi all started the second leg at the Stadio Olimpico that year.

Of the remaining three players in that line-up, Samuel Umtiti is injured, Sergio Busquet is suspended and Andres Iniesta is at Vissel Kobe.

In addition to some of those already mentioned, Clement Lenglet started the second leg of the semi-final against Liverpool a year later.

Arturo Vidal was also involved, but he won’t be able to feature against Napoli because of suspension.

Philip Coutinho Started against his formal club at Anfield and is now at Bayern on loan.

Of the substitutes in that game, Arthur Melo is nowhere to be seen after agreeing a move to Juventus and Malcom is now at Zenit.

Nonetheless, the core of those teams that were beaten in Roma and Liverpool remains.

It is they who will be charged with preventing Barcelona from going trophyless in a season for the first time since 2013/2014.

Barcelona’s defeat in Liverpool is still very fresh in the memory and its one that Spanish press labelled as the “biggest embarrassment in history”

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Barcelona have endured many nights of pain in European football. For decades, they were a big club that struggled in Europe, unable to match, for example, Real Madrid and Liverpool’s multiple wins in the European Cup.

Having suffered the ignominy of two recent dreadful exit from the Champions League ; a third will be most catastrophic and unforgivable.

Alejandro Segura/ Barcelona/ Adapted by Ozilala

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