Sport Barca want revenge after Champions League humiliation – Pjanic
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Barcelona midfielder Miralem Pjanic said the LaLiga giants want revenge this season following their Champions League embarrassment.
An 8-2 humiliation against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals capped a forgettable and trophy-less 2019-20 campaign for Barca.
Barca were also dethroned by bitter rivals Real Madrid in LaLiga, prompting the embattled Catalan powerhouse to sack head coach Quique Setien and appoint Ronald Koeman.
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Superstar captain and six-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi also handed in a transfer request before opting to stay at Camp Nou.
Now preparing for Sunday's season opener against Villarreal, recruit Pjanic told Sport: "This team wants to take revenge for what happened in Lisbon and show that it was a huge accident.
"Our goal is to go step by step: starting with the league, which will not be easy. And in the Champions League, there will be five or six candidates to win the trophy.
"Starting in March, a new season will begin within the season itself, with the knockout stages of the Champions League and the decisive stretch of the league championship; that's where we have to be at full throttle.
"These players have already earned the respect of the football world and I don't think they have to prove anything to anyone. But in football there are accidents, and I don't think there is a Barca player who doesn't want to show that 8-2 was just that, an accident.
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"I do not have any doubt. I have spoken with some of them and they have not lost an ounce of self-confidence. Last year was not easy for anyone, but I am sure that this year we will have a good season, because we have good players.
"Nothing is easy in today's game. We know that Barca is undergoing changes, perhaps the newcomers will need some time to adapt, but we will succeed."
Pjanic swapped Serie A champions Juventus for Barca as Arthur moved in the opposite direction and the Bosnia-Herzegovina star added: "It is never a bad moment to come to Barca. Barca are a team designed to win everything. It may be that last year was not a good season and that it ended badly.
"Things did not turn out as they had imagined, but think about all the teams that each year are built to win, and logically not all of them can win. It is not easy to win titles.
"It was a strange season for everyone, with the coronavirus: we were unemployed for several months, then we had to start almost suddenly, with a strange calendar and no fans at the grounds."
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Bellerin says Arsenal are building a 'new identity' under Mikel Arteta .
Monday night's 3-1 defeat at Liverpool saw them have just 34 per cent possession as they found it difficult to play out from the back against their hosts high-intensity pressing. But despite there being occasions, most notably when Rob Holding was in possession, when the tactic looked decidedly dodgy, Bellerin said they had faith in Arteta's philosophy as that was how they would improve going forward.