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May 1, 2013

Pique: Worst moment of my career

Gerard Pique believes Barcelona's 7-0 aggregate loss to Bayern Munich in their Champions League semi-final tie may be "the worst moment of my career".

Pique and his Barca team-mates succumbed to an in-form Bayern outfit 3-0 in the second leg on Wednesday evening, with goals from Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller coming either side of a Pique own goal.

• Tomas: Messy without Messi
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• Bayern's Robben thrilled
• Champions League Gallery Photo Gallery

Indeed, it was a tie to forget for the La Liga leaders and the defender conceded the absence of Lionel Messi from the starting line-up was not the reason Barcelona failed to progress to the final.

"Perhaps this was the worst moment of my career at Barcelona," he explained. "With or without Lionel Messi, the result would have been the same.

"Messi is the best in the world. Obviously it's not the same without him on the pitch but I don't think things would have been so much different with him.

"It's not pleasant living a situation like this one. We tried in the first half but after the first goal we just fell apart. The last 45 minutes were so hard."

Barcelona midfielder Xavi lauded Bayern as "extraordinary" and believes they thoroughly deserved their place in the final.

The Spain international also refused to use his side's numerous absentees as a reason for their convincing defeat. Barca were without senior players Carles Puyol, Javier Mascherano, Eric Abidal and Sergio Busquets through injury while Jordi Alba was suspended and Messi, who has been struggling with a hamstring problem in recent weeks, was an unused substitute.

Xavi told Canal Plus: "Right now they (Bayern) are at an extraordinary level. They have been better and very much deserve to be in the finals.

"Physically, we've been in bad shape with regards to players missing. Busquets, Abidal, Puyol, Mascherano...they are important players. But neither is that an excuse. Bayern have been better. Mentally strong, physically extraordinary."

Bayern will take on fellow Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in the final after they swept aside Real Madrid on Tuesday.

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