Quique Setien says Barcelona are still haunted by the damaging Champions League defeats to Liverpool and Roma.
Barcelona have not reached a Champions League final in five seasons and they face Napoli in the last 16 on Tuesday night.
A tough task in itself given Napoli’s strong form at home, which includes a 2-0 win over Premier League leaders Liverpool, but Setien says recent traumatic exits from the Champions League will be on the players’ minds.
Last season Barca were humbled 4-0 at Anfield after they had a three-goal lead from the first leg at the Camp Nou. And that was on the back of the previous season’s capitulation against Roma.
The Blaugrana were again three goals to the good, leading 4-1 in the first leg only to lose 3-0 in Rome and exit the competition and previous boss Ernesto Valverde has previously spoken of the mental damage of those results.
“The reality is that very little has been said about those games, although surely everyone has it in mind,” Setien said, as cited by Marca.
“Perhaps it is not comparable. I think the team is fine, like us. I trust that we continue in this dynamic and I believe we can give the levels of performances we have done for a long time.
“There is no doubt that it is my first Champions League game and it gives me even more motivation. It is emotional for me to start this journey in a stadium like this, full of passion and history. I think it will be an exciting game.
“We have already seen what Napoli are capable of doing. They will give us an extraordinary version.”