We all knew it was coming.
It was in our loss to Alaves, and our draw against Real Betis.
It was in our losses to Malaga and our humiliation at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain.
It was in our loss to Juventus in Turin.
The fate of our campaign was decided long before the final whistle at Camp Nou last night; Barça's Champions League exit comes more as a calm acceptance of the truth, rather than shock—the fact that we made it this far is baffling.
FC Barcelona is just not the same club anymore.
Whether it's on the field or off it, Barçelona has failed to deliver—transfers are made for political reasons, purchases are reactive, and the results on the pitch are shambolic to say the least.
Barça has a decent win record this season which has papered over some of the poor performances from our annual scrimmage towards trophies.
Games like our exhilarating 2-3 win against Valencia in La Liga, or our legendary 6-1 remuntada against PSG, have deceptively altered the record books to showcase a Barça that wins despite the odds. A more accurate version of history however, will show a Barça that failed to dominate games, was vulnerable to counter-attacks, and lost its identity of playing scintillating football.
Barça's tactical downfall and poor squad management have been the root cause for a disastrous season that fails to inspire any possibility for success.
The suits in the conference rooms have made reactive choices once more, in their decisions to bring in a coach with former affiliations to the club instead of a tactically astute man-manager, or their sudden interest in former academy players who would only be luxuries, while ignoring the gaping holes in defence and midfield.
The club is expecting a major overhaul whether we like it or not, and for better or worse, it is a reconstruction that we desperately need at the moment.
The loss to Juventus is a lot of things, but "surprising" is not one of them. A failure to qualify for the semi-finals should inspire the players to finish the rest of the season with renewed vigour. If it doesn't, the club will likely be under pressure to add quality to our mediocre midfield and back-line, which will only improve the team—had we won, a lot of these issues would have been swept under the rug.
It's funny that a loss can be a positive, but I guess that's just how things work in a politically motivated world.
Till then, all the fans have a reason to rejoice from last night's result...
We might just learn to pick ourselves up.