Barcelona will end the 2021-22 football season without a trophy but will have the distinction of overcoming the financial extremities that haunted them throughout the campaign.
As the final roll of the dice, Sunday’s home game against Villarreal will come as a rather strenuous encounter since the latter needs to win the tie in order to finish within the UEFA Europa Conference League place.
From Barcelona’s front, while they know they will finish as the runners-up regardless of the result and will have a spot in next season’s Spanish Super Cup, Sunday’s game will mark the final appearance of several players.
The likes of Oscar Mingueza, Samuel Umtiti, Martin Braithwaite, Riqui Puig, Luuk de Jong and Adama Traore will have the final chance to wear the royal blue of Blaugrana.
Apart from the aforementioned, even Ousmane Dembele could join the list along with Frenkie de Jong, Dani Alves, Clement Lenglet, Memphis Depay and goalkeeper Neto Murara.
While it’s next to impossible for Xavi to accommodate everyone in the final game of the season, Dembele might get a few minutes either from the bench or as a starter.
At the time of writing, Dembele’s renewal is still stuck. He already has an offer on the table from Barcelona, but it is certain that he is not liking the terms mentioned in it. Hence, Barcelona must prepare for a life beyond the Frenchman.
On top of that, lining Depay and Aubameyang together will finally decide who will end up as the club’s top scorer this season. While the former has 12 goals in his kitty, the January signing has scored 11 goals in a mere 16 appearances since his arrival.
Barcelona are certain to finish second, but the same cannot be said for Villarreal. With only a point separating them from the eight-placed Athletic Club, they need a win to affirm their European qualification. If not, they will have to rely on their counterpart’s result against Sevilla.