Liverpool players and fans will talk about the Europa Cup and how they look forward to playing in that tournament next year. That is all talk. This is a huge blow to Liverpool, and not just because of the financial implications.
The Champions League is the best club tournament in the world. Teams are able to attract and sign stars by offering them a chance to play against the best in the CL. With Liverpool not making the knockout stages, and in serious difficulties of even qualifying next season, Rafa is going to have a lot of trouble not only attracting the best players to Liverpool, but also keeping the ones he has.
Winning the Europa League is a nice, but at the end of the day, the kop doesn’t care. Liverpool is all about winning Championships and European Cups. Anything else is a disappointment.
Elsewhere on Tuesday, Barcelona showed why they are still the best team in Europe as they took apart Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan 2-0 at the Nou Camp without Messi and Ibrahamovic. Inter need to a point at home to Russian Champions Rubin Kazan to go through to the knockout stages. If Inter don’t qualify, the Special One will be looking for a new job next season.
Two teams that did reach the knockout stages were Arsenal, who beat Standard Liege 2-0 at home, and Fiorentina, who beat Olympique Lyon 1-0.