"Many problems..." - Xavi compares Barcelona with Man Utd as Champions League claim made
| Last updated
Barcelona manager Xavi has compared the Catalan giants to Manchester United and insisted both clubs deserve to be in the Champions League.
Since winning a historic treble in 2015 Barca have been blighted by footballing decline and financial problems.
Meanwhile, United are in one of their longest trophy droughts in history, having not claimed silverware of any kind since 2017.
Furthermore, the Old Trafford club have not won a Premier League or Champions League since the heady days of Sir Alex Ferguson, who retired as manager in 2013.
However, both teams appear to be steadily improving. Barca are five points clear at the top of La Liga, lead by a new contingent of elite talent.
Equally, United have been in resurgent form since the World Cup, and are on track to claim a vital top-four spot and Carabao Cup trophy.
Xavi on Manchester United
Barcelona and United are set to meet in the Nou Camp on February 16, and again at Old Trafford a week later.
While it is a tie worthy of Europe’s premier competition, it is conspicuously being played in the Europa League play-off round.
When Hindustan Times asked Xavi about the upcoming Europa League clash, the Barca boss said: "Yes, more or less (both clubs are at a similar point).
“We are coming back. Manchester United and Barcelona, both are in the Europa League. I think both teams deserve to be in the Champions League, but this is our reality and we need to face them.”
The former midfielder, who starred for the Spanish giants in two Champions League finals against the Old Trafford club, added: “Manchester United and Barcelona have had many problems in the last 2-3 years.
“But I think we are coming back. In my opinion, Ten Hag is doing a very good job.
“Both teams are in a similar process (of revival).”