Day to day one year ago, Lionel Messi announced his retirement from FC Barcelona, a heartbreaking day for any fan of the Catalan side. Today, one year later, we look at whether the club has progressed or deteriorated.
Day to day one year ago, a crying Lionel Messi announced at a press conference that the marriage between him and FC Barcelona was ending. Apparently there was not enough money to extend Messi’s contract and so the Argentinian had to look for other places. Once Messi had left, Barcelona started recruiting themselves, as the post-Messianic era had begun. For example, Dani Alves came back to ‘his’ Barcelona, Luuk De Jong and Adama Traoré were hired, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came over from Arsenal on a free transfer and they also brought in Sergio Aguero, Eric García, Memphis Depay and Ferran Torres. The Catalans went far, especially for the latter. They put 55 million on the table for the 21-year-old winger of Manchester City.
In the last season with Messi (2020-2021), Barcelona finished in third place in La Liga. They won the Copa del Rey but disappointed in the Champions League by going out in the 1/16th finals. Last season they did better in La Liga than last season with Messi. Barcelona finished in second place, one place higher than the season before. In the Copa del Rey, the Catalans already went out in the 1/16th finals. It was also a failure in the Champions League. Barcelona only finished third and had to go to the Europa League. There they went out in the 1/16th final against the later winner of the tournament, Eintracht Frankfurt. So they didn’t take any prizes last season, and that must have hurt new coach Xavi.
This season should be better!
For this season, FC Barcelona is saving money and effort to get it right again. They want to be able to compete again at any cost. It has therefore already been a busy transfer summer in Catalonia. Andreas Christensen comes over from Chelsea on a free transfer. He will have to strengthen the defense together with Jules Koundé, who was bought from Sevilla for 50 million euros. In midfield, they are joined by a Serie A champion, Franck Kessié. After winning the title with AC Milan, he will transfer to Barcelona on a free transfer. For winger Raphinha, Barcelona felt deep in the pockets. Leeds collected no less than 58 million euros for the Brazilian. Finally, 45 million euros was also spent for new striker Robert Lewandowski. In total, a sum of 153.00 million euros. They then sold Philippe Coutinho and received a rental fee for Francisco Trincao, but that is only peanuts compared to this amount. Coutinho was sold to Aston Villa for 20 million euros and Sporting paid 3 million euros to rent Trincao for a year. A total loss of 130 million euros.
Last season, Barcelona nearly broke even in terms of transfer spending and income. This season, that doesn’t seem to work. There seems to be only one man who could largely fill the gap of 130 million euros and that is Frenkie de Jong. There has long been speculation that the Dutch midfielder would make a transfer to Manchester United, but De Jong himself prefers to stay at the club of his dreams a little longer. If Barcelona don’t sell anything, they will be forced to perform this season in order to win prize money. The practice matches FC Barcelona has already played this summer are certainly promising. Inter Miami was beaten 0-6, Real Madrid got a 0-1, Juventus drew 2-2, NY Red Bulls lost 0-2 and yesterday the Mexican Pumas UNAM also got 6-0 to win the game. ears in the Trofeu Joan Gamper. That last game will stay with many Barcelona supporters for a while. After this match, the hope for a good season has again increased among the fans, because Barcelona once again played good football. The first twenty minutes in particular were really impressive. Watch and enjoy!