Why Barcelona bottles Champions League?
For some years football world is criticizing FC Barcelona. Even some of their own fans are not happy with their style of playing. But it was not always like that. There was a time when every football club feared the great FC Barcelona. Long before Lionel Messi, when Johan Cruyff brought the tiki-taka to the Catalan club, they were so good. They could beat any team with their style of play. Then came the Guardiola era. Barca stayed one of the best in that era too. But after Luis Enrique and Neymar left the club, the Barca downfall started.
There are so many points where Barca failed to deal with the situation properly. Their achievements are not even the topic of any debate. But everyone finds the little details and trolls Barca. Barcelona currently sits second on the La Liga table. Just a point behind Real Madrid the league leaders. But everyone talks about their Champions League journey. They really messed it up in the champions league and now Barca will be playing Europa league. Gerard Pique also announced his retirement and is leaving Barcelona. Let’s see what happened to Barcelona a great club like that has become a laughingstock.
Johan Cruyff Era
The Legendary Era for FC Barcelona started from 1989 to 1994 in the Cruyff Era. Johan Cruyff brought many good players to the team. He managed to win 11 trophies. Barca was dominant in any aspect. All because of the new playing style introduced by their manager. At that time football was not as fast as it is today. There were defenders who will just defend and not help in counter-attacks.
So comparatively there is a lot of difference between that football and today’s football. So with their new style, Barca was on top of the world. The other managers were not able to do something about it.
Pep Guardiola Era
The only manager to win more trophies than Cruyff was Pep. He managed to win 15 trophies. The prime time of Barcelona was under Pep Guardiola. Barca was phenomenal, Barca had Xavi, Messi, and Iniesta, the most amazing trio. Pep managed to win the first continental treble with FC Barcelona. So everything was going their way in these eras.
As they were playing as a team, it was very difficult to mark Barcelona. They take possession all the time which builds pressure on the opponents and led them to do mistakes and Barca takes advantage of these mistakes. To that was the whole philosophy to take possession and build the pressure. At that time, tiki-taka seemed to work for Barcelona.
FC Barcelona Downfall
It’s 2015 Barca just beat Juventus the Italian giant in the Champions League Final. They look unstoppable. The present and future look bright. Fast forward to 2022, is this the same Barca we are talking about?
In 2017 Neymar one of the key players in the Barca attack left the club to join PSG. The dangerous MSN was torn apart. It was not easy for them to replace the Brazilian. They brought Dembele to replace him but injuries took the better of him. Then comes another Brazilian, Coutinho in January 2018. Looked amazing in Liverpool but failed to impress the Catalan crowd. Barca was losing momentum moment after moment.
2018 was a good season for Barca until April, Barca was looking forward to going to the next stage of the champions league. They won the home game 4-1 to Roma. then comes the night everybody looks confident but they got knocked out after losing 3-0. The first disastrous European night.
Then in the 2018 transfer window, Barca spent another 100 million euros on Lenglet, Arturo Vidal, Arthur, and Malcolm. Only to bottle the 3-0 lead against Liverpool and again get knocked out of the Champions League. This is the second disastrous European night.
In July 2019, Barca spent another 100 Million plus on Griezmann. Because the previous 100 million-plus signing Coutinho was a flop and he left on loan. A swap deal of Arthur and Pjanic in which Arthur left for Juventus and Barca got Pjanic. Still, Barca was not effective in big games. They managed to win against small clubs.
Fast forward to 2020, Bayern humiliated Barca in the Champions League by beating them 8-2. Barca became a laughingstock. Barca lost the wonder striker and Lionel Messi’s ally, Luis Suarez, to Atletico on a free transfer. Also, there were rumors that the backbone of Barcelona, Lionel Messi has had enough of Barca and is planning to leave the Club.
A New President
After so many losses, Bartomeu decided to step down and Juan Laporte took his place as the president. He requested Messi to stay at the club and things will be different from now on. But in June 2021, Lionel Messi Left Barca due to financial issues in an emotional conference. Barcelona didn’t afford him even if he plays for free. That’s the time Barca hit rock bottom.
The same year Barca got knocked out of the champions league again and also lost to frankfurt, get thrown out of Europa League too. And this year they were again humiliated by Bayern in both home and away games. Even after signing star players like Rafinha, Christensen, Alonso and one of the best number nines – Robert Lewandowski. They have also got one of the best young talents in Europe like Pedri, Fati and Gavi – 2022 Kopa Trophy Winner. Barca has a strong squad with Xavi as their current manager who is also a tactical one. But still, they are far away from finding their lost rhythm.
Barca has to find winning ways as soon as possible because at some point they have the potential to become one of the best clubs as FC Barcelona and Real Madrid are the two most famous and biggest Clubs in the history of football and most football fans started watching football by seeing these clubs playing quality football.
Let’s see where Barca ends up as Xavi is currently working for the long-term success. Barca are in need of a new playing style because old tiki taka is clearly not working. The club should stop spending money on flops because this is why they lost players such as Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, and why they are in financial trouble.