Champions League last 16: What do Barcelona need to qualify?
Global Football|December 03, 2021
Barcelona are one of Europe's most successful teams ever, but the club are now in a transition period with former player now Xavi in charge as coach and legend Lionel Messi having transferred to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Blaugrana have not won a Champions League trophy since 2015, and the club now face the possibility of not participating in the knockout phases of the competition this seaon.
Barcelona face Bayern Munich in their final 2021-22 Champions League group-stage game – so what do they need to do in order to qualify for the next round? GOAL takes a look.
Barcelona have their fate in their own hands. A win against Bayern at the Allianz Arena will secure their spot in the Champions League last 16 as runners-up in Group E regardless of Benfica's result.
Bayern have already been confirmed as group E winners. The Bundesliga giants have registered a perfect Champions League record so far, winning all five matches, so an away victory will be a daunting task for Xavi and Co. (not to mention overcoming the memories of the harrowing 8-2 defeat for Barcelona at the hands of Bayern not too long ago).
The Catalan side could have wrapped up their last-16 participation had they won their last game against Benfica but it ended in a 0-0 draw, meaning everything will rest on this final Champions League group-stage game.
If Barcelona lose against Bayern and Benfica fail to beat Dynamo Kiev, then Barcelona will progress due to having a two-point advantage in the standings.
For Benfica to progress instead of Barcelona, they will have to beat Dynamo and hope for a Barcelona loss.
If Barcelona lose and Benfica win against Dynamo Kiev, who are already confirmed as having finished fourth in the standings, then Benfica will qualify as runners-up and the Catalans will enter the Europa League, missing out on the Champions League knockout stages.
If Both Barcelona and Benfica lose their games, then Barcelona will qualify due to their two-point advantage.
It gets complicated if Barcelona draw with Bayern. Should Barcelona draw at the Allianz, they will only qualify if Benfica fail to win against Dynamo.
If Benfica beat Dynamo and Barcelona draw with Bayern, Benfica's superior head-to-head (a 3-0 over the Catalans in Lisbon) will see the Portuguese side progress.
If Benfica do not beat Dynamo, then Barcelona will qualify regardless of their own result.
The last time Barcelona failed to progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League was in the 2001-02 season, when they finished third in Group H behind AC Milan and Leeds.
The last time that the Liga side were unable to qualify for the Champions League group stage entirely was in 2003, owing to their sixth-placed finish in La Liga.