UEFA Champions League English

Barcelona’s winning mentality sees them returning to the Champions League

Barcelona appears to have it in their stride to make an eagerly-awaited return to the Champions League next season and proud manager Xavi said his side has certainly displayed fortitude and a winning mentality in the Champions League after it sealed its return to the knockout stages of Europe’s elite club competition for the first time in three seasons today.

Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix were instrumental in securing the win for the Blaugranas scoring in each half to earn Barcelona a 2-1 comeback win at home against Porto that took the Group H leaders to 12 points from five matches.

Now all that’s needed is a draw against already-eliminated Antwerp in their final group fixture to seal top spot.

“We needed this after two years,” Xavi said.

“We reacted well and displayed a winning mentality on several occasions.

“This was an important step in the right direction. It means a lot to the club.

“That’s the first of our targets achieved in the Champions League. It has calmed us down and boosted our confidence, especially that of the players.”

“The feeling is of happiness and of doing things well. We are progressing. But I don’t feel liberated, I feel happy,” the Spaniard said.

“You never solve all the problems at Barcelona, but it’s a day to congratulate the team and the club for advancing.

“There are many things to improve, of course. We have to be humble. We have done some things very well, others not so,” said Xavi, adding that he hoped the victory would be a turning point.

Barca next host Atletico Madrid in the league on Sunday.