It has been a turbulent season for Barcelona.
Ever since the 4-0 comeback defeat against Liverpool at Anfield, Barcelona seemed like a shadow team. The situation worsened for the club in the summer when they spent a fortune on Antoine Griezmann but failed to re-sign Neymar despite specific instructions from club captain and football legend Lionel Messi to do so.
As the season progressed, Valverde’s outdated tactics made it worse for the club to yield results and barring moments of magic from Messi, Barcelona looked like a struggling outfit.
There crisis up front continued as the new trio of Suarez, Griezmann and Messi failed to gel and it all came to a crashing halt when Suarez was injured in January and was sidelined for 4 months, adding to their crisis with another 150 million rated star in Dembele already out for 6 months.
The club sacked Valverde and signed Quique Setien, a man with no experience of coaching even one international top quality player. It was madness.
They hit the final nail on the coffin when their technical director Eric Abidal, who has made a reputation for himself for making ill-fated comments, targeted the players – and hence naturally targeted Lionel Messi.
For the first time in his Barcelona career, Messi openly spoke out against the club’s board and it has now left the club in shambles.
Stringing out matches, playing new signings out of positions, Barcelona’s fall from grace does not look pretty.
With the league and the Champions League both slipping out of hand, can we expect Lionel Messi to turn things around alone?