Xavi Hernandez slams Referee after FC Barcelona UCL exit vs PSG

Xavi Hernandez, who was shown a red card during FC Barcelona’s 1-4 UEFA Champions League quarterfinal second leg defeat to Paris Saint-Germain, criticized the referee’s decisions in a post-match rant, labeling the referee’s performance as a “disaster” and blaming one key decision for ending a season’s work.

Barcelona entered the second leg at the Montjuic Stadium with a narrow 3-2 advantage earned in the Parc des Princes the previous week. However, Raphinha, the MVP of the first leg, scored again within a quarter of an hour, putting PSG in a commanding position.

The momentum shifted further when Ronald Araujo was sent off approaching the half-hour mark for a foul deemed to be denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity. Xavi disagreed with the decision, stating, “It’s not a red card, for me it is not. It’s not good for football to have 10 players.”

Expressing his frustration, Xavi lamented, “With 10 players it is very complicated. The work of an entire season is finished by a referee’s decision.” He criticized the referee directly, calling him a “disaster” and claiming that the sending-off was “unnecessary.”

Xavi’s frustration escalated to the point where he was eventually sent off himself for dissent. He admitted to telling the referee that he didn’t understand the match and criticized his performance as “very bad.”

Despite the disappointing outcome, Xavi made tactical adjustments following Araujo’s dismissal, explaining his decision to substitute Lamine Yamal for Pedri to maintain control in midfield, despite Pedri’s recent return from injury.

Regarding his future at Barcelona, Xavi remained non-committal, stating, “Barca will try again. I am not important.” He emphasised the team’s progress in the Champions League campaign and expressed optimism about their prospects for the future.

In conclusion, Xavi reflected on the season’s Champions League campaign, stating, “We have done a very worthy, remarkable Champions League [campaign]. Next year we will return, but we have to control some details.”

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