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Barcelona fans shouldn’t have any Champions League expectations this season

An inconvenience...

UEFA Futsal Champions League 2021/22 Main Round Draw Photo by Valentin Flauraud - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

As soon as the current international break is over, Barca are plunged headlong into another Champions League campaign.

Indeed, things couldn’t start off any worse than having to face their conquerors of the season before last, Bayern Munich.

The scars of that epic 8-2 annihilation have yet to heal, and, whisper it quietly, it wouldn’t be any surprise if the blaugranes get another big thumping.

In Serge Gnabry, Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski, the Bavarians have three attacking players to trouble the best defences in the world, let alone one that is ‘experimental’ at this point.

It’s entirely possible that if Barca get it together in their other fixtures against Dynamo Kyiv and Benfica, that they could finish second and qualify for the knockout stages, however, it would serve no purpose other than to put a few extra million in the coffers.

The Top European Football Club Badges Photo by Visionhaus

Frankly, the competition is a real distraction this year, and Barca only need it from a financial perspective.

They’re not going to win it, and I’d happily wager significant sums that they’ll not get anywhere close to the business end of the competition either.

Do we really want to see a team that is showing the green shoots of recovery, having all of the confidence knocked out of them in the pursuit of a wholly unrealistic and unachievable Holy Grail?

Surely it’s better to treat those six group games as a chance to get back some of the Barcelonisme that has been lost over the last couple of seasons.

Bring through the kids and allow them to play without pressure. The results largely an irrelevance. Take Barca back to basics.

Short-term pain for long-term gain if you prefer.

Radical? Certainly. Though using this season as another transitional period certainly has its advantages.

FC Barcelona v Getafe CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Urbanandsport/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Reality will bite hard, particularly if Bayern win big in one or both of their group games against Barca, and that’s not being defeatist for the sake of it either.

There have been things to admire under Koeman, and for any number of reasons this could still be a successful season - just not in the Champions League.

If the green shoots of recovery post-Messi are to continue then why not employ the old Cruyff maxim for a change: Salid y disfrutad (Go out and enjoy).

What’s the worst that can happen?

If Barca can recover some of their soul, their ethos and what makes Barca, Barca, then surely a few group stage defeats in a competition they won’t win is a price worth paying.