After losing Antwerp in the Champions League for the first time on Wednesday, Xavi stated that Barcelona is suffering from a “confidence” crisis.

The Blaugranas suffered their second defeat in three days, sending alarm bells ringing at the Catalan club. After losing to Girona in La Liga on Sunday, they were defeated 3-2 by Antwerp in the Champions League, putting Xavi under intense scrutiny.

Antwerp had not tasted success in their Champions League debut until goals from Arthur Vermeeren, Vincent Janssen, and then George Ilenikhena in stoppage time enabled them to write a historic victory over the Spanish giants.

Although Barcelona qualified for the knockout stages as group champions, Xavi admitted that his players lacked the confidence and inspiration needed to turn the situation around.

“I don’t like to criticise my players. I don’t think it’s positive, but they have to cheer up. They have more than what they are showing. Again, we had some important individual mistakes here tonight,” Xavi said after the game.

“Last Sunday we played a good game. Tonight, the feeling is not good. It’s a matter of confidence. The coaching staff is giving the players full confidence. We have rotated and given a chance to players. Now it’s a matter of being inspired, and right now we’re not. Barcelona’s shirt has a lot of weight, there’s added pressure, and players need to deal with it.”
Despite recent losses, Xavi is upbeat that his team can turn things around.

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