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Barcelona, Mes Que Un Club
When you think of Barcelona, you wouldn’t associate them with just four wins in the last eight fixtures – including matches in both the Spanish La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. It’s their worst start to the league in 25 years.
It’s also Ernesto Valverde’s worst run since taking charge of the club in 2017, that has included two La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey and a Supercopa de Espana victory.
There was a time Barcelona spread fear in the world of football and Nou Camp tickets were top priority, but their dominance is quickly being overruled by the likes of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
Barcelona’s recent downfall can be evident in the La Liga table, where the 2018 Champions find themselves eighth with just two wins in the opening five games.
The five-time Champions League winners are now there for the taking for any team; which teams like Granada, Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna have already taken advantage of – the latter resulting in a draw.
Of course, it’s hard to judge the side within the league with so few games played – and that they won the competition last season only ever dropping as low as second place.
But in 2019, are Barcelona in a crisis?
Valverde’s men are now vulnerable. And whilst this will spread joy in the likes of Manchester United and Juventus fans, who have both suffered Champions League finals defeats in the last decade, it shouldn’t be panic stations just yet.
Most recently, the club suffered a 2-0 defeat away to recently promoted Granada, in which Suarez said that his team have a ‘tough year ahead’.
Fans are already calling for the sacking of their manager, with patience no longer a virtue in the modern era of sport.
The next generation at the club is already on display and the future is surely a bright one; with 16-year-old winger Ansu Fati having already made his first-team debut as the youngest footballer to feature in La Liga in almost 80-years, and those with Champions League tickets saw Catalans' youngest ever player in the competition starting against Dortmund.
The youngster is rumoured to be offered a lucrative deal with the club, as tomorrow’s new stars make their mark which may be the future tactic for Valverde.
Another upcoming prospect is Frenkie de Jong, who joined Barcelona ahead of the 2019 season and has already made 11 international debuts for Netherlands at the age of just 22.
With the mix of the new and old, including 2019 Player of the Year Lionel Messi, the club still yet turn things around.