Andres Iniesta has rubbished suggestions the 4-0 thrashing by Bayern Munich indicates the end of an era for Barcelona. The Catalan giants were a distant second best at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night, as the Bavarians took charge of their UEFA Champions League semi-final with an overpowering first-leg performance.
Iniesta has been a part of the Barça side which has won two of the last four European crowns, landed three of the last four Spanish titles, as well as countless plaudits for their eye-catching brand of football. And he believes that record means they should not be written off on the back of one poor display.
"It seems unfair to talk about the end of an era," Iniesta told a press conference. "This team, in the last five years, has won two Champions Leagues, reached three semi-finals, we are at the point of winning a fourth league in five years, we've won Supercopas and everything else - it's been a blessed era. That's a lot of years of winning and fighting for everything.
"For me, the end of an era is when years have gone by and you haven't won titles. We've done enough so that people should have plenty of respect for this squad, the coach and the club in general.
"Next year we will return to fighting for all the titles, but we'll need to improve things and the club must improve things. I'm referring to everyone, those who are here and those who could come."
Neymar to Camp Nou?
Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu backed coach Tito Vilanova to stay on, but admitted the club would look to make "four or five" new signings in the summer. Iniesta stopped short of demanding an end-of-season overhaul, but conceded an improvement was required.
He said: "I'm not going to say that the club have to sign players or not, there's people who decide that. I'm only saying that we all have to improve to continue at such a high level as this.
"Revolutions are never good in this sense. When things don't go well or turn out bad you need to count to ten and wait for things to cool down a little. After that, use thought and reason.
"If we want to continue competing and challenge for everything, we need to improve many things. I'm not saying that we should sign four or five players."
Barça have long been linked with a move for Santos's Brazil international Neymar, but Bartomeu insisted there was not a deal in place for the 21-year-old forward.
"We need to shake up the squad but we haven't signed Neymar," he told Catalunya Radio. "He's a player we are interested in, we've said that, and we'll see what happens when the season finishes."