Gerard Pique sent a message of optimism despite Barcelona's defeat to Real Madrid in a dramatic Supercopa game on Wednesday.
"We competed really well," he said. "In the end, we haven't made the final. It's not the result we hoped for and it's a shame, because losing against Real Madrid always hurts, but I think we're closer to winning. We're competing and now we just need that next step to start winning."
The defender lamented Madrid's third goal in the 3-2 win which arrived in extra-time from Fede Valverde after Ansu Fati and Luuk de Jong goals for Barça.
"The only 'but' is that we have not won," Pique added. "We played really well. We took the game on and took risks. At the end of the day, they've won the semifinal on a counter when we weren't able to get back and they got a lot of players forward.
"I'm really proud of the team. Playing like this we're going to start winning and compete for trophies.
"After equalising and going to extra time, playing with three at the back, going man to man against quality players like Vinicius and Benzema, to compete as we have done against Madrid, who are having a great season, means we leave with out heads up.
"We just lacked winning and it's difficult for a club like Barç when you don't win, but we're closer. We're getting players back from long injuries and Covid and the team was at a good level. It's good news. The only negative is we would have liked to return home with the trophy."