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Apr 25, 2013

Iniesta: Barcelona 'era' not over

Andres Iniesta denies Barcelona have been usurped as a European powerhouse following their convincing defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final on Tuesday.

• Barca set for summer shake-up
• Blog: Barcelona outplayed

Barca's hopes of reaching their third final in five years look bleak after a 4-0 drubbing in Germany and Borussia Dortmund's rout of Real Madrid in the other semi-final has prompted suggestions that Spanish football is no longer at the forefront of Europe.

But Iniesta is confident the Catalan giants' history and recent results prove they are still one of Europe's best and the 28-year-old believes Barca will only be in a lull when they fail to win trophies.

"We have won the Super Cup and everything else we've competed in," he said. "To say this is the end of the cycle is unfair, after we have won for so many years and have fought for every available title. I think the end of a cycle occurs when a few years go by without winning anything."

Tito Vilanova's side will have to make history as the first club in the history of the European cup to overturn a four-goal first-leg deficit, and while it seems a tough ask, Iniesta has assured the Camp Nou faithful that they will see a positive attitude in the return fixture.

"The club has to evolve to continue fighting for everything; the league and the Champions League," the Spain international. "We have to improve to get past the semi-finals and make the final."

"If there is even the slightest chance, we have to try. At the very least, try to win the game and attempt to pull off the almost impossible. What I can say is that the team will face this match with a winning mentality, as if we were playing a final."

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