Why Valverde is responsible for Barcelona's embarrassing Champions League elimination

Barcelona are out the Champions League after being deservedly eliminated by Roma after losing 3-0 in the Stadio Olimpico. The Catalans' inability to take advantage of their 4-1 victory in the first leg is utterly unacceptable, especially given the huge amount of talent, experience in their squad and how solid the team had proven to be so far this season.

As we discussed in the latest The Barcelona Podcast, Valverde's refusal to rotate key players despite having an 11 point gap at the top of La Liga was a recipe for disaster. The manager's inability to prevent key players from burning out has been a concern for a number of weeks but, in Roma, the evidence could not have been any clearer. Unfortunately, the embarrassing way in which Barca crashed out of the Champions League proved our worse fears right far earlier than anticipated. You should definitely listen to the pod, which can access right here.

Francesc and Dan also focus on Zidane's decision to stop Real Madrid from honouring Barca's league victory with a pasillo (Guard of Honour) if the Blaugranas had already become champions before El Clasico in La Liga. Your hosts are then joined by local insider Eugenia Karolyi to answer listener questions regarding Roma, Champions League preferences, Valverde's rotation policy, Dembele and more.

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Running Order:

Does the Guard of Honour actually matter that much?

Should players and managers dictate the direction of the club in institutional matters?

Who would you choose for Barcelona to face in the Champions League semifinals and final if they qualified?

Can anybody knock Real Madrid out of the Champions League other than Barcelona?

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