Last August, Leo Messi rocked the football world with his request to leave Barça, the club of his life, to seek pastures new. On the back of yet another European humiliation, this time an unprecedented 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter final, it was perhaps expected. Rumours had been brewing since July 2020 that Messi did not intend to renew his contract, and it only made sense that the disaster in Lisbon accelerated that desire to leave in 2021 to a desire to jump ship immediately.
As the curtain closes on 2020, FC Barcelona, like much of mankind, will attest to the darkness this year has brought. The Catalan club end the year 6th in the league’s standings, without a president, crippled by debt, and uncertain of what the future holds. The question that had been on many’s minds over the last few years has been unerringly emphasized to all by 2020: Is there a path for Barça back to the top of the pile of behemoth European clubs?
A new season begins on Sunday evening for the Blaugrana, what should we expect from them?
Barcelona's stadium, the Camp Nou, in October 2019 / OMAR HAWWASH/BLAUGRANAGRAM FC Barcelona is going to define the situation of eight of its players this week. It is the second week of training for the upcoming new season. The club is waiting to finalize some new signings, with the priority for this window being a striker, either Lautaro Martínez or Memphis Depay being the most likely arrivals in that position. A central midfielder, a full back and the sales of players who do not fit into Ronald Koeman’s plans are the other objectives of the window according to Mundo Deportivo. Luis Suárez is waiting to pass an exam at the Italian Consulate in Barcelona to obtain an Italian passport. He already has
Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann (L) and Espanyol’s Marc Roca (R), playing at the Camp Nou/ Photo montage by Blaugranagram FC Barcelona were far from their best as they defeated city rivals Espanyol 1-0 in the Catalan derby at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night. A goal from Luis Suárez on 56 minutes was enough to claim the all-important three points as Barça look to keep up with La Liga leaders Real Madrid in the race for the domestic title. There was nearly a shock when Espanyol's Didac Vila struck the base of the post from the resulting rebound after Barça defender Clément Lenglet nearly put through his own net on the stroke of half time. https://twitter.com/FCBarcelona/status/1280983815222104064?s=20 Both teams were reduced to 10 men after the break
Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen (L) and Atlético Madrid's Jan Oblak (R), in front of the Camp Nou/ Photo montage by Blaugranagram FC Barcelona's woes continued as Quique Setién's side were held to a frustrating 2-2 draw by Atlético Madrid on Tuesday night at the Camp Nou. Setién's team were looking to put their dismal display against Celta Vigo last time out behind them, and stay on course as they look to secure a second successive La Liga title at the end of the campaign, but their hopes suffered yet another blow. Diego Costa diverted a Lionel Messi corner into his net on 12 minutes as Barça made it 1-0. Six minutes later, highly-rated midfielder Saúl Ñíguez levelled for Diego Simeone's men from the