Barça will be in the draw for the knockout stages on 18 December after missing out for two years in the Champions League.
Barça beat Porto 2-1 at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys. The blaugranes will now have their spot in the draw for the knockout stages which will occur in December 2023.
The team is currently among the best 16 teams on the continent. Prior to contending in the Europa League over the most recent two years, the blaugranes had come to the knockout stages 17 years straight. Now, with Xavi Hernández in control, Barça are back to where they belonged and are 100% confident to top their group simultaneously.
After the immeasurably significant win, the coach of the side Xavi hailed the ‘winning mentality’ of his players. As per him, he was satisfied with the character shown by his team as they came from behind to secure a place in the last sixteen of the Champions League.
The coach is looking forward to another challenge in the knockout stage of a Champions League after missing out in the last two seasons.
“I am very happy for the team and the club” he said after the 2-1 defeat of Porto. “We needed this after two years. We reacted well and displayed a winning mentality on several occasions. We deserved this win” he said.
“We needed be more daring” he said in reference to the vast improvement after the break. “It was time to push further up the pitch. I’m very happy because the second half was really good.”
“This was an important step in the right direction. It means a lot to the club. That’s the first of our targets achieved in the Champions League. It’s has calmed us down and boosted our confidence, especially that of the players.”
João Cancelo contributed a goal and an assist in what Xavi calls a “superb game. He made the difference. He was the free man and in the second half we interpreted that well.”
Another remarkable player was Iñaki Peña, who worked really hard without any Ter Stegen.
“This was a very important game for him” said the coach. “And his response was extraordinary. Not just with his saves but because of the way he built up the plays from the back. That was not by chance.”
Meanwhile other European football giants proactively booked their places in the next round. Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Inter Milan, Manchester City, RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund, Atlético Madrid and Lazio will also be in the draw one month from now for the last 16.