Barcelona is one of those generational clubs from this century. They’ve got the likes of Ronaldinho and Leo Messi leading their teams, aided by some other legends such as Iniesta, Xavi, and Puyol. However, what’s gone wrong for Barca in the last five years?
The Catalan club has been accumulating frustrating performances – both in Europe and in Spain – and to make things worse, their bank is not going as well as it should’ve.
We’ve talked to football expert on site mightytips, Kate Richardson, who’s been watching over Barcelona for the past decade, and she kindly agreed to give us a general view on the subject. You can view more on her by clicking here.
We can anticipate some topics we’ll go through in this article. Here is an overview of the Barcelona downfall:
- Unfortunate Signings
- Bad Performances
- Horrendous Club Management
- Leo Messi Dependency
Not really in this order but we’ll let you come to your own conclusions after reading the text. There you go!
The Neymar Departure
Neymar was hired by Barcelona to be the club’s young protagonist and, over time, inherited the top star crown that belonged to Lionel Messi. But the Catalan board was unable to convince the Brazilian to wait for this transition to be completed.
In 2017, Paris Saint-Germain paid 222 million euros of the striker’s termination fine and handed him the team’s control in France.
Despite the money they received, Barca was left without the guy who would guarantee the team’s future and became increasingly dependent on the aging Messi.
Of course, Barcelona could have taken advantage of the money from Neymar’s sale to find another player in the market who could make a difference on the field, decide games and reduce Messi’s overload.
Except that the main shots fired by the club went way far from the target. After the Brazilian left, the club spent 415 million euros just on the acquisition of three candidates for new stars: Philippe Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann, and Ousmane Dembele.
However, none of them have been able to justify the investment so far. The three millionaire reinforcements did not yield as expected, never fell in favor of the fans, and even spent time on the bench.
Still, some are yet to believe that some of them will thrive at the club, and even be the club’s top scorer this season. You can take a look at the odds of it happening at the countless free bets india or any other global payment method available out there.
Same Old Names Who Are Not the Same Anymore
While burning through their savings to try to find a “new Neymar”, Barcelona left aside the rejuvenation of other sectors of the team. Defender Gerard Pique, left-back Jordi Alba, and defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets, remnants of the period when the club won one title after another were aging and losing income.
Even so, they were never bothered by the arrival of reinforcements and continue with their places guaranteed in the starting lineup. With an aging team, Barca lost speed and the ability to act at high intensity for a long time.
Unfortunate Choices to Lead the Team
When everything is going wrong, it is natural that you choose to seek a new path, a revolution capable of altering its course. Barcelona definitely don’t think so.
All the coaches hired since Guardiola left, back in 2012, had some previous connection with the club. The culé board lacked the courage to break old ties, look for names already established in other European countries, such as England, Germany, or Italy, and take risks with commanders who would not only reproduce standards but who would actually bring something new to the Camp Nou.
Let’s be honest, guys… The likes of Quique Setien, Luis Enrique, and Ronald Koeman don’t really seem to have the ability to lead a squad of the weight Barcelona had.
The Downfall of La Masia Academy
Barcelona sold the world the idea that they had a factory of young players of above-average quality in their lower divisions, who would give the first team a backbone formed at home.
However, after the popular “1987 generation”, Messi, Piqué, and Cesc Fàbregas, few people trained in La Masia managed to establish themselves in the top echelon of world football.
Midfielder Thiago Alcantara, the biggest exception, even reached stardom, but only after leaving Barca for Bayern Munich. Today, the bet is on names like Ansu Fati, Pedri, Riqui Puig, Óscar Mingueza, and Ilaix Moriba, all still too young for responsibility of this size.
If you were to bet on one of these names to be the next big thing in world football, who would you pick? You can take a look at the best New Zealand bookmakers – who are mostly available for the majority of countries out there, and punt on the next big thing coming from Barcelona!
What about a board that makes all the mistakes mentioned above and still has the ability to get into an explicit confrontation with the greatest player in the club’s history, Messi, to the point where he announces that he is leaving for another team after the end of your contract?
For these and other reasons, Josep Maria Bartomeu’s administration is seen practically as unanimous from the disaster point of view. To top it off, the leader, who commanded the Catalan giants between January 2014 and October last year, was arrested not long ago.
The accusation is so bizarre that it’s surreal: Bartomeu would have hired a consultancy specializing in data management and social networks and diverted his role to spread fake news about his main opponents, such as Messi and Joan Laporta.
If things at Barcelona were already bad at the beginning of last year, they got considerably worse after covid-19. Of course, the pandemic ended up affecting the finances of every club on the planet. But in the case of Barcelona, the damage was far greater than average.
That’s because the club has a stadium with the capacity to receive 100,000 fans and one of the most visited museums (with an official store and traditional souvenirs) in Spain.
With the closing of these structures to the public, a lot of money left the Blaugrana coffers, and Barca’s debt skyrocketed. Only in accounts that need to be paid by June, the association owes an incredible 730 million euros.