Thomas Muller said Barcelona “cannot compete at maximum intensity in top-level football” after Bayern Munich eliminated the embattled Blaugrana from the Champions League.
Barca were consigned to the Europa League/UEFA Cup for the first time since 2003-04 after being outclassed 3-0 by Bayern in Munich on Wednesday.
Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala were on target for Group E winners Bayern, who progressed to the knockout phase with a 100 per cent record.
Barca needed to win or hope Benfica failed to beat Dynamo Kiev elsewhere in the final round of group fixtures in order to avoid elimination, but Xavi’s side were no match for Bayern.
It is the fourth time Barcelona have been eliminated in the Champions League group stage after 1997-98, 1998-99 and 2000-01, and the second time that they have fallen to the secondary European competition from the Champions League group stage following 2000-2001 (then, to play the UEFA Cup after finishing third behind Milan and Leeds United).
Afterwards, Bayern star Muller discussed Barca’s plight, with the LaLiga outfit also seventh domestically and 16 points off the pace.
“Barca cannot cope with our intensity,” Muller told DAZN post-match.
“Technically, they have it all, great players on a technical and tactical level.
“But they cannot compete at maximum intensity in top-level football.”
Muller has scored eight goals in seven appearances against Barcelona in the Champions League – his most against a single opponent in the competition – his tally of eight goals is the most of any player against Barca in the history of the European Cup/Champions League.
The 32-year-old is also the first German player to reach 50 Champions League goals in the history of the competition following his 34th-minute opener.
“They just seem to fly in against Barca. It was another typical [Muller] goal, but I’ll take it,” Muller said.
“Fifty goals [in the Champions League] is good but I still have a lot of football ahead of me.”