Speaking after Atletico were held to a 1-1 draw by Qarabag to put them on the brink of Champions League elimination, Gabi was far from enthused by the prospect of dropping into the continent's second-tier competition.
"Today I would say it [the Europa League] is a piece of sh*t," Gabi told reporters.
"But the Europa League has given me a lot, and if we have to play it, we will [play to] win it.
"Now I have to eat my words," he said in quotes reported by AS . "It was a very difficult moment for everyone."
Antoine Griezmann scored twice for Atleti, who it has been reported he could leave for Barcelona when the transfer window opens.
Gabi reiterated his hope the France international will continue his career at the Wanda Metropolitan, though.
"He has shown that he is focused on Atletico," said Gabi. "I hope he stays.
"Of course, winning this title can help, more so because of how we have done it. It will be important in the coming seasons."