Apr 4, 2022 – Lately it has not been possible at FC Barcelona. The Catalans qualified for the quarterfinals of the Europa League and made a big impression in the national competition by beating Real Madrid and Sevilla. As a result, Xavi and his men are now in second place and they dare to dream of the national title again. How real is that?
FC Barcelona normally competes for the league title every season. Even in the first season under Ronald Koeman, after the historic humiliation against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, the Catalans were heading for first place for a long time. With a win over Levante they would have taken the lead. But it didn’t get that far. FC Barcelona lost at home to Levante and did not recover from that blow. It turned out to be just the first of the many blows that Koeman’s Barcelona would receive next.
The biggest, of course, was the departure of Lionel Messi. As much as FC Barcelona and Messi wanted to continue together, a longer stay for the Argentinian was simply not possible. The financial problems of the Catalan superpower are well known and also played tricks on her in the transfer market. Although Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay and Eric García all made the free transfer to Camp Nou, Koeman was not satisfied. The Dutch coach would like to see more reinforcements coming, but the financial disorder made this impossible.
How different was the situation a few months later? After continuing disappointing results in the competition and the Champions League, Koeman had to pack his things. Koeman’s resignation paved the way for the arrival of Xavi, who had been at the top of President Joan Laporta’s wish list for months. In the end, the president was proved right, because with Xavi at the helm, the Catalans are swinging as usual. Where Koeman did not see the desired reinforcements coming, FC Barcelona invested heavily in Xavi’s team in January. With success, because the results and the football are great. Real Madrid, for example, was treated to an impressive 0-4 defeat just over two weeks ago.
Also read: Spanish media praise Barça: ‘Beautiful, masterful and unforgettable’
After El Clásico, several FC Barcelona players said that the club is ‘back’. They even dared to talk about the national title again. And after the 1-0 victory over Sevilla on Sunday evening, Xavi’s team is no longer hiding its ambitions for the coming weeks: they want and go full for the national title. But how realistic is that? They are currently twelve points behind Real Madrid. There are quite a few. Normally you would say that Barça can shake it. But the current situation is actually not normal. Not so long ago, even a place in the top four seemed too much to ask for FC Barcelona.
There is hope for Xavi and his men, who are not only due for a match. The remaining program of Real Madrid is also a lot heavier than that of FC Barcelona. The rival from Madrid will compete against Sevilla, Atlético Madrid and Real Betis in the final phase of the competition. And it’s not all that convincing anymore what Real Madrid shows. Last Saturday they narrowly beat Celta. The capitals are and nevertheless remain the most important title candidate for the time being. But in Catalonia they can rightly dream of a spectacular castle.