Eric Abidal has blamed Barcelona’s Champions League semi-final defeat to Liverpool last season on the attitude of the side and their inability to score a goal.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in Champions League in their second-leg at Anfield.
Barca had won 3-0 at the Nou Camp, thanks to Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, but Gini Wijnaldum and Divock Origi’s doubles stunned the Catalan giants and fired Liverpool to the Champions League final.
It was deja vu for Barca, who had been dumped out the quarter-finals of the European competition by Roma in similar circumstances the previous year.
The Italians turned a 4-1 first leg deficit to win 3-0 at home and go through on away goals.
Abidal, who is Barca’s director of football, has explained what happened against Liverpool and why the club decided to stick with Ernesto Valverde.
“I will speak about the first leg first,” Abidal told Sport. “All Barca fans will surely remember more the result of that game. It was really difficult and the final result is not reflective of the game. It was a clear warning of what could happen.
“The disaster at Anfield was down to the attitude of the team and (not scoring) a goal. We lacked a goal. With one goal, no one would remember (what happened in) Liverpool. That’s what I had in my mind in the stands. It had to happen.
“It was a different accident to Roma. They’re not equal rivals and the games weren’t the same. Liverpool was not Roma. You learn from it, but you have to think that the difference was one goal. And that one goal marked the season.
“[The responsibility for the result] is joint between the players and the coach. It was an accident. Things happen in football that you can’t explain. Not even the players that were playing the game.”