Andres Iniesta insists Barcelona are not ready to be toppled from their perch as the kings of European football.
The Catalan giants suffered a humbling 4-0 defeat against Bayern Munich in the first-leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final on Tuesday, leading some to question if they had been usurped as the continent’s premier football team.
But Iniesta – who has won Europe’s most prestigious piece of silverware three times with the club, in 2006, 2009 and 2011 – is confident the Spanish outfit are still top of the pile.
“We have won the Super Cup and everything else we’ve competed in,” he said. “To say this is the end of the cycle is unfair, after we have won for so many years and have fought for every available title.
“I think the end of a cycle occurs when a few years go by without winning anything.”
Despite his defiance, the 28-year-old admitted the Camp Nou outfit would need to improve in order to continue their success.
“The club has to evolve to continue fighting for everything; the league and the Champions League,” he said.
“We have to improve to get past the semi-finals and make the final.”
Barcelona must now seek to make history by becoming the first club in the history of the competition to overturn a four-goal first-leg deficit.
Iniesta believes they can do just that.
“If there is even the slightest chance, we have to try,” he said.
“At the very least, try to win the game and attempt to pull off the almost impossible.
“What I can say is that the team will face this match with a winning mentality, as if we were playing a final.”