Barcelona's season has been 'a failure' - Jasper Cillessen
BARCELONA -- Jasper Cillessen can win his first trophy since joining Barcelona this weekend but he has told ESPN FC that even a victory in the Copa del Rey against Alaves will not disguise the fact the season has ultimately been a failure.
Barca were eliminated from the Champions League at the quarterfinal stage by Juventus and were then beaten to top spot in La Liga by Real Madrid on the final day of the campaign, despite beating Eibar 4-2 at Camp Nou.
They can still end the season on a high with a trophy on Saturday at the Vicente Calderon, but having won a Treble and a Double in Luis Enrique's first two seasons in charge, expectations have not been met.
"The dressing room was very quiet on Sunday after the [Eibar] game but now we're all focused on the Copa del Rey and winning it," former Ajax goalkeeper Cillessen said as he reflected on missing out on the league title.
"I think it is a failure [if Barca only win the cup] because a team like Barcelona wants to win three trophies. We want to win the Champions League, La Liga and the Copa.
"It's the same as at Ajax, if you don't win the league it's a failed season. You can say otherwise, but that's what it is -- even if the mad thing about [football] is if we win three points more we win the league."
Cillessen, 28, joined Barcelona for €13 million from Ajax last summer and his first year at the club has served for adapting to his new surroundings, learning the language and laying a base to compete with Marc-Andre ter Stegen for the No. 1 spot next season.
In total he has made just nine appearances, with seven of them coming in the Copa del Rey, a competition in which he is Luis Enrique's first-choice goalkeeper.
The Netherlands international is therefore expected to start Saturday's final against Alaves, a side he made his debut against earlier in the season in disappointing circumstances as Barca suffered a shock home defeat.
"I want revenge because I lost my first game [against Alaves] for Barcelona and I want to finish off my good season with a win," he added.
"That first game was one-and-a-half weeks [of preparation after signing], maybe not even that long because there was the national team in between.
"We had some troubles in the translation with the defence because I needed two months to learn the Spanish language [for] on the pitch. So, yes, [there was] miscommunication and we conceded two stupid goals which [now] I think we wouldn't concede.
"The first was a throw in and they lost a man and a scramble and everything and then the second was two people blocking each other and it went over me.
"Now we have the Copa del Rey which is a big game. The semifinal of the World Cup is my biggest so far but that was also a big disappointment so let's hope we can make a big [performance] in a good way this weekend."
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.