Barcelona’s 0-0 draw with Benfica means that they still have a fighting chance at making it to the round of 16 of the Champions League. However, they must either defeat Bayern Munich in Bavaria or Benfica must lose or draw against Dynamo Kiev.
The final game of the group stage will be worth £10.4 million for Barcelona. They will be given £2.4 million for winning against Bayern, and £8.1 million for making it to the next round. An income of this nature would boost the club’s financial situation, which is in dire straits right now.
The club would be able to pay the proper wages to their players if they make it to the next round by winning. The additional income would also set up the team for one or two January signings if they can negotiate good deals.
However, if things do not go in their favour, and they end up finishing third, they will drop down into the Europa League. Not only will it be quite embarrassing for a club of their stature to play in the second tier of Europe, but it would also deal a big blow to their finances.
The workload on the players would also increase, if they drop down. Barcelona will be expected to win the tournament, and finish in the La Liga top four. Anything else would render the season a disaster for them, and would harm their pride as a club as well.
The team’s fortune in the Champions League has not been remarkable over the last few years. They have been subjected to humiliating exits from the competition, and it looks like a similar result awaits them this time around.
However, one can never fully predict a match in football. So we might just be seeing Barcelona extract their revenge for the 11 goals that Bayern have scored against them in their last two meetings with a crucial win.