Updated April 20th, 2024 at 11:50 IST

'They are spoken in the locker...': Barca legend criticizes Gundogan for his comments after UCL exit

Barcelona legend voices criticism towards Gundogan for his post-UCL exit remarks, indicating discontent with the player's statements made for the players.

Reported by: Aryan Suraj Chadha
Granada’s Bryan Zaragoza pushes Barcelona’s Ilkay Gundogan during a Spanish La Liga soccer match | Image:Granada’s Bryan Zaragoza pushes Barcelona’s Ilkay Gundogan during a Spanish La Liga soccer match
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In a thrilling UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg match, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) secured a dominant 4-1 victory over Barcelona, with an aggregate score of 6-4. Raphinha opened the scoring for PSG in the 12th minute, followed by goals from Ousmane Dembélé, Vitinha, and a Kylian Mbappé brace including a penalty in the 61st and 89th minute. Ronald Araújo received a red card for Barcelona in the 29th minute, shaping the dynamics of the game. PSG showcased superior stats with 21 shots, 68% possession, and 9 corners, ultimately emerging victorious at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys.

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Carles Puyol responds to Ilkay Gundogan's critique of teammates following UCL elimination

Following their elimination from the UEFA Champions League, Ilkay Gundogan publicly criticised his fellow players. Former Barcelona defender and captain Carles Puyol has commented.

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The German midfielder Gundogan publicly criticised Joao Cancelo, Ronald Araujo, and Robert Lewandowski after Barcelona's quarterfinal loss to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). He did not specifically name them, but he did point out that each of their mistakes was the cause of the defeat.

Barcelona legend Puyol voiced his disdain of Gundogan's behaviour in a message to Tribal Football, denouncing him for publicly singling out his teammates and placing the responsibility for the loss. Charles Puyol said: 

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"Everyone is free to say what they believe. I am in favour of the things that have to be talked about, they are spoken inside the locker room. I also think that Gündogan give an opinion without bad intention. Defending is not easy, it is a very fast action, he (Araujo) commits a foul, I am sure that the one who did not want to do that is Araujo, they are things that happen.

“We know perfectly well how all this works, you have to try not to say many things outside, because then they can be interpreted in many ways, but I am convinced that he had no bad intention. I don't think Xavi needs to bring anyone together, they will have already spoken inside the locker room.”

"I am not in the locker room, nor have I spoken to anyone, but generally speaking from my experience, I am convinced that if there is any misunderstanding, they will have spoken already. People understand each other and that's it, you don't have to think about it anymore. You are talking more outside than inside, I am convinced."

Barcelona lost to PSG 4-1 in the second leg of their quarterfinal matchup in the UEFA Champions League, with some key individual mistakes playing a major role in the loss. During the game, Joao Cancelo gave up a penalty, which further complicated Barcelona's prospects, and Ronald Araujo was sent the red card. Furthermore, Robert Lewandowski's inability to stop Vitinha gave the Parisians a vital goal, which made Barcelona's problems in the match worse.

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Following Barcelona's Champions League quarterfinal defeat to PSG, midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has continued to express his thoughts to his teammates. According to reports, the German's comments criticising some teammates' performances in the loss to the Parisians sparked a schism within the Catalan dressing room.

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Speaking through Barcablaugranes, Gundogan's comments reflect continued tensions within the Barcelona camp as they deal with the fallout from their sad Champions League loss. Gundogan said:

 
“What’s important is that a game like Paris can happen, it’s normal, especially for a team like us: young players, not so experienced in the competition. If you look at the knockout games before we actually did OK.

“With all the frustration and disappointment this game can bring with it, I think it’s also something that every player can use, especially the younger ones, as motivation to do better next year, to have that experience in your pocket.”

“And next year when you come to a similar circumstance, and you realise ‘ah last year this happened’ - you can actually use it to avoid the mistakes you made before. I’ve played in the Champions League 12 seasons now, maybe more, and I only won it once!"

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Published April 20th, 2024 at 11:50 IST