Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has admitted that Real Madrid were "better than us" after Wednesday night's 5-1 aggregate defeat in the Spanish Super Cup.
The Blaugrana trailed 3-1 from the first leg at the Nou Camp, and were comfortably beaten in another underwhelming display at the Bernabeu.
Valverde bemoaned the loss, but insisted that it does not show that Real Madrid are "invincible".
"There are no invincible teams, if there is a certainty in this sport, it's that we are going to lose eventually," Valverde said, quoted by FourFourTwo.
"What we need is to win, to be sure, to be accurate. We have no qualms in recognising the merits of the rival. Madrid played better than us, especially in the second game, not the first.
"We have lost this title, it is true. At times, they have started better, especially our first-half start and our second have not been very good.
"We had chances to get in the game but we did not capitalise. We have been penalised in the losses. We have to recover soon in the psychic point of view because LaLiga starts. The Super Cup is the end of pre-season, although it is a title that we wanted to win. We have to pull forward. We have no other choice."
Barcelona begin their La Liga campaign against Real Betis on Sunday, and Valverde has stressed that his side have areas to improve on from pre-season.
"In this world everything is evidence, each one is tested to a certain extent and difficulties always come in," he added. "There have been things in the pre-season that can affect the balance that there was in the team and we have to work on it to find another balance to be able to play well and get results.
"That is the team's work. It is a difficult moment because in big teams this happens when you do not win."