As is always the case when Barcelona fall short in the Champions League, the local media reaction was unforgiving.
"On the brink of disaster," screamed the Diario AS front page. Barcelona were hurtling towards "the abyss", according to L'Esportiu.
Robert Lewandowski's 92nd-minute equaliser may have rescued a point in a 3-3 draw with Inter last time out in the competition, but it was not enough.
Having suffered a 1-0 defeat at San Siro one week earlier, the result left the Blaugrana staring at an early Champions League exit.
Xavi acknowledged Barca did not deserve to progress following their madcap draw with the Nerazzurri, but that will be no consolation to their hierarchy should they bow out of the competition on Wednesday.
As Barca – just a few weeks on from a huge transfer spree and a positive start in LaLiga – prepare to host Bayern Munich in a do-or-die clash, Stats Perform examines the potential ramifications of yet another European failure.
Tracing Barca's Champions League woes as old foes visit
Football has a funny way of throwing up narratives. Surely no team has been responsible for causing Barca greater embarrassment than Bayern, who have won nine of their 12 Champions League meetings with the Catalan giants (D1 L2).
Among those victories, of course, was an 8-2 humiliation of Quique Setien's team in the 2019-20 quarter-finals, an historic result that hastened Lionel Messi's attempts to quit Camp Nou that year.
Bayern also appeared to take great joy in crushing Barca last season, preventing Xavi's men from reaching the last 16 for the first time since 2003-04 (when they were absent from the competition entirely) by thrashing them 3-0 in a match with no consequences for the Bavarians.
The German side are already assured of their own last-16 spot again ahead of Wednesday's match, but they will no doubt be keen to deal another blow to their old rivals – particularly after the less-than-amicable departure of Lewandowski in July.
While Bayern's domestic dominance makes their obsession with Champions League success understandable, Barca have suffered extensively after failing to meet lofty European aims of late.
Barca are looking to avoid suffering consecutive group-stage eliminations for just the second time in the competition, having previously crashed out at this stage in both 1997-98 and 1998-99, but their Champions League woes stretch back beyond last season.
Since lifting the trophy in 2015, Barca have posted four quarter-final exits and one last-16 elimination, as well as an incredible collapse against Liverpool in their one semi-final appearance.
Meanwhile, Barca have been beaten by three or more goals on 10 separate occasions in their past seven Champions League campaigns, having not lost by such a margin in their previous three seasons in the competition.
For a club who are in a state of perpetual crisis despite a run of five league titles in seven seasons between 2012-13 and 2018-19, the Champions League clearly holds special importance, which has only been heightened by recent off-pitch events.
The view from the boardroom: Why qualification matters for Laporta
The economic 'levers' pulled by Joan Laporta were the talk of the continent a couple of months ago, with Barca spending in excess of €150million on Lewandowski, Jules Kounde and Raphinha, as well as attracting four high-profile free agents.
That spree was set against a backdrop of continued economic fears, with Barca accused of gambling their future to finance a short-term rebuild.
The sales of 10 per cent of their future LaLiga broadcasting rights and 49 per cent of their in-house production company Barca Studios were required in order for the Blaugrana to meet the division's salary limits – and even that was not enough to prevent director of football Mateu Alemany having to contribute his own money to ensure Kounde's registration.
The identity of their marquee addition Lewandowski, meanwhile, raises further questions.
The Poland international may remain his indomitable self, following up a return of 35 goals in his final Bundesliga season with Bayern by scoring 12 in his first 11 outings in LaLiga, but handing a four-year contract to a player who turned 34 in August gave an idea of where Barca's priorities lie.
It is within this context that Laporta's view of the Blaugrana's European failings must be examined.
Reports have suggested Laporta was "furious" with Barca's inability to beat Inter, and the president's frustrations were on display when he stormed into the officials' changing room following their Clasico defeat to Real Madrid four days later, earning himself a fine.
It is thought Barca have budgeted for a run to the Champions League's last eight as a minimum this season, and failing to meet that objective would reportedly cost them €20m.
With Barca and Madrid seemingly fighting a losing battle in their attempts to convince Europe's other giants to back a revival of the Super League, the loss of further revenue is unlikely to go down well in the Camp Nou boardroom.
Could Xavi pay for Laporta's approach?
While Xavi's predecessor Ronald Koeman lost his job with Barca ninth in LaLiga, overseeing the club's worst ever start to a Champions League campaign hardly helped his cause, with a 3-0 loss at Benfica last September representing a watershed moment for the Dutchman.
Xavi has goodwill in the bank after leading Barca to second in LaLiga last term, but the former midfielder recently acknowledged a European exit would deal a blow to his own job prospects.
Indeed, resounding league wins over Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao have done little to lift the mood at Camp Nou, demonstrating a shift in expectations Xavi must handle.
Signing Lewandowski, who has 91 Champions League goals to his name, has also ensured Xavi has few excuses, at odds with Koeman's patched-up, Messi-less side.
Whether fair or not, Xavi is now perceived to have the players to compete with sides like Bayern; failure to do so would undoubtedly prompt questions of both the coach and the board.
Xavi may have restored Barca's status as domestic title contenders, but as ever in Catalonia, past European glories cast a long shadow.
If Xavi oversees another continental failure, he may just pay for Laporta's approach.