Liverpool v Osasuna - Pre-Season Friendly Official Premier League Nike Strike Aerowsculpt 21/22 during the pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and CA Osasuna at Anfield on August 9, 2021 in Liverpool, England. Liverpool England breton-liverpoo210809_npyDF PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxFRA Copyright: xJosexBretonx

2020 has certainly been a difficult year for FCB. Much like other teams, Barcelona has had to endure a long and protracted lockdown due to the current health crisis. Let’s also not fail to mention that their performance on the pitch after restrictions were lifted has been than optimal. When we then take into account that their star player has decided to look for greener grass elsewhere, the future of this team seems to be unclear for the first time in years. What might the departure of Lionel Messi signal for this organisation? Will the team be able to recover and to enjoy a stellar 2021 season? While no one possesses a crystal ball, there are still a handful of conclusions that we may be able to draw.

When the Chips are Down…

It is an undeniable fact that Messi was the linchpin of the team. Not only was he the most well-known player, but his verve both on and off of the pitch seemed to inject a sense of vitality that might not have otherwise been possible. This is not to say that other players were not valuable, but we are merely pointing out that he provided FCB with the spark that was sometimes needed in order to overcome challenging adversaries such as Real Madrid.

The outcome of some games is often determined to a great deal by chance. Those who play slots online or who enjoy an occasional round of virtual blackjack are well aware of this observation. However, victory seemed nearly certain every time Messi would run onto the pitch. It is a foregone conclusion that Barcelona players are now beginning to question this previous confidence.

Regaining Team Cohesion

Many fans will agree that the halcyon days of Barcelona were associated with Pep Guardiola. As this well-known personality has left for Manchester City, Barcelona seems to be somewhat in a lurch. The presence of Josep Maria Bartomeu does not appear to have helped things, as many rumours state that he and Messi were unable to see eye to eye. It has even been surmised that this was one of the reasons Messi decided to depart (perhaps for Manchester City).

This could present a real problem if other players feel the same towards their new president. Furthermore, Barcelona is a team which tends to thrive off of momentum. When things are going well, they cannot be beaten. If they begin to enter into a slump, they have had difficulty reemerging unscathed. This is particularly the case if their fan support begins to wane. When Messi finally departs at the end of the season, there are many questions which will need to be answered.

So, could FCB slide into the doldrums associated with a second-rate team? Have their days at the top of the podium come to an end? Only time will tell. Still, we need to keep in mind that even the best teams eventually lose their top-tier positions. It could very well be Barcelona’s turn.