Barcelona's Champions League exit good for football, says Rivaldo
Former Barcelona star Rivaldo says the Catalans' Champions League exit at the hands of Roma was "good for football".
Trailing 4-1 from the first leg at Camp Nou, the Serie A side produced a memorable turnaround in Tuesday's return fixture in Italy, claiming a 3-0 win to progress to the semi-finals on away goals.
Real Madrid almost followed Barca out of the competition on Wednesday, as Juventus raced into a 3-0 lead at the Santiago Bernabeu to level the tie on aggregate, only for an injury-time penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo to send the holders through.
Rivaldo, who won the Champions League for the first time a year after leaving Barca for AC Milan, was saddened to see his old club crash out but believes the game will benefit.
"What happened is very interesting," he said. "As I played for Barcelona and because I'm a fan of Barcelona, I'm sad about what happened.
"But we should understand that this shows preparation from the other teams and that football isn't just about Barcelona and Real Madrid anymore.
"Real Madrid were close to going out as well. This is good for football and for the clubs, so they can see they're not inferior to them. I mean, what Juve, Roma have done - I guess nobody will say that Real Madrid have already won the Champions League."
Roma will face Liverpool in the semi-finals, while Madrid meet Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
1 - It's the first time in their history in European Cup/Champions League Barcelona are eliminated in the knockout stage after winning by at least 3 goals in the first leg. Romatada. #RomaBarçapic.twitter.com/feISZ8OeDc-- OptaJean (@OptaJean) April 10, 2018