FC Barcelona took a 3-0 win in the Joan Gamper Trophy Game on August 15th as fans at the Camp Nou got to see their idols in action for the first time this summer. Goals from Malcom, Lionel Messi and Rafinha decided the club’s presentation game against Boca Juniors.
This was not all the action the fans received when attending the match, however. Because right before things started, Messi would get everyone talking with this statement:
“Last season was really good as we did the double but we all felt bad about how it went in the Champions League.” He continued, “We promise that this season we will do all we can to bring that trophy back to Camp Nou.”
Messi then led the crowd with the famous chant of “Visca el Barça i Visca Catalunya!” before leaving the pitch.
So he promised that Barcelona will do everything they can do bring the UCL Trophy back to Camp Nou. But, just how is that going to work? For the past three seasons, Barcelona have said goodbye to their title run at the same stage: the quarterfinals. Being eliminated by Atlético Madrid, Juventus and finally Roma was a devastating hit for the Catalan giants.
All three times, Barcelona had a great squad. So what is it that really happened? Atlético were a tough opponent, as they often are, and managed that golden goal at Camp Nou as they made their way to the next round. There’s Juve, following that majestic night of eliminating PSG 6-5 on aggregate. Barcelona did a terrible job in the first-leg, inexplicably falling 3-0.
Last season, though, everything looked great on paper when they beat Roma 4-1. Little did they know, however, that they were going to get eliminated by Roma on away goals — again failing to score at home. The magic has disappeared the past three seasons. And it is just unacceptable for a club with great history to fail to make it at least to the semifinals.
Barcelona are looking good to start the season, though, clinching the Spanish Super Cup trophy and winning their first two games of La Liga campaign. The season is long, but with new additions to their title runs such as Arturo Vidal, Clément Lenglet, Arthur and Malcom, I can see them going far this season. With such a great squad (and depth), these title runs will be more exciting to watch. That’s why my prediction is that Barcelona will achieve the famous Triplete.
What’s key to their title run is how well the new additions adapt. Everyone but Arthur have European experience. Slowly, Arthur will gain more confidence to be part of important games. Vidal and Lenglet both have Champions League experience though. And, both will be essential to their club’s success. Malcom will only need to adapt to the Barcelona playing style as he has already made an impact — scoring two goals in four preseason matches.
Regarding the good players this season, there will be those who just simply won’t connect with the rest. Thomas Vermaelen, Denis Suárez and Munir El Haddadi could all be flops this season. I don’t believe they will live up to their potential.
Potential transfers can come, and must come in the winter window. Rumors are circulating that 21 year-old Frenkie de Jong will join Barcelona. But, they say he’s set to join either this summer or in the winter. A bigger name perhaps is Paul Pogba, as it appears he is not so happy with José Mourinho. Who wouldn’t want a current World Cup champion?
Regardless of what happens, Barcelona are a team of great character and history. They will need to step up in all lines of the pitch, though. Especially if they want to repeat the same success from their 2014-15 season.