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Koeman believes that Barcelona still are contenders for the La Liga title

Alexandre Patanian

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Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona won 1-0 against Levante on Saturday. After two woeful losses to Cadiz and Juventus, the Catalans got back on track at home to the Valencians. Ronald Koeman, who was not too pleased with the performance on Tuesday, spoke in the post-match interview following the victory (via Barça TV)

“It was a little bit difficult to score today, despite creating many chances. We improved in the second half.”

“We deserved the win today.”

“I feel better, and I feel that we improved today. We played a good match.”

Ronald Koeman | Post-match press conference

Barcelona played a pretty stale match. Despite dominating the play, the Catalans could not finish their chances and the game looked like it would result in a goalless draw. Koeman has to be happy about his team’s performance, although there are aspects to improve before the Real Sociedad fixture.

“We wanted to defend the lead so we decided to put Umtiti on. Sometimes you have to make such decisions.”

“Riqui was about to come on when the score was nil-nil. But when we scored the plan changed.”

“Obviously, there are things I can’t share with the press. Puig wasn’t played because the score was 1-0, and I thought that it wasn’t necessary for him to participate.”

Ronald Koeman | Post-match press conference

One of Samuel Umtiti’s first touches of the game was a handball that could have resulted in a penalty. His coach decided to defend the lead and could have paid for it. Koeman’s substitutions did not please some Culés. Riqui Puig could have had an opportunity to shine, just as he did against Juventus. However, seeing Koeman counting on him when he is drawing is refreshing.

“Pedri, Trincão and Umtiti all came on and they did well. Such changes are made to improve the teams rhythm and change the team. They played well and contributed to the win.”

Ronald Koeman | Post-match press conference

Pedri and Francisco Trincao’s inclusions brought pace and intricacy to the game. They changed the game’s rhythm and had a good performance overall.

“We are improving every day. We played well today, and we expect a difficult match against Sociedad.”

“We are still contenders for La Liga.”

Ronald Koeman | Post-match press conference

While the win is positive, the performance was not too brilliant. On Wednesday, Real Sociedad will be the toughest opponent Barça have met this season along with Atlético. The Catalans will have to show more to get something positive from the midweek game. Winning against Sociedad would do a world of good for Barça’s La Liga’s campaign, and prove whether Koeman’s statements hold or not.

As a Lebanese teenager who never had the chance to support their local team, I fell in love with the club that was FC Barcelona at the start of the decade. I always was passionate about writing and this is exactly what I am looking for: sharing my insights and opinions on football.

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Barcelona have spent a record 1 billion Euros in last five seasons

Domagoj Kostanjšak

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Photos via Getty

At this point, practically everyone not living under a rock knows Barcelona are struggling financially. Part of that issue is certainly the ongoing pandemic, which has put more than just a dent in everyone’s wallets. However, the other part of that problem was also self-inflicted when it comes to the Catalan giants.

According to Carrusel Deportivo‘s latest report, Barcelona have spent a record one billion euros in the last five seasons on the market. They’ve gathered the information from Transfermarkt and their data source of spendings to create a list of teams who have spent the most in recent times.

And with a total of 1.057 million euros thrown down the drain, Barcelona have convincingly taken the first spot. Of course, this is not exactly a race you want to be leading or winning, for that matter. Manchester City are just behind them with €952M and Juventus are third with €941M.

Interestingly, Real Madrid are the ones who have lost the least amount, ‘only’ €47M, which is indeed pocket change compared to Barcelona’s €367M. Still, it has to be noted that the Catalans are also the club with the second-highest income in the last five years, €690M to be more precise, but that is so heavily outweighed by the losses that it hardly makes a difference.

When we take all of that into account, it really does become crystal clear why they are in such a mess in the first place. Needless to say, whoever wins the elections in less than a week’s time will have a mountain to climb to get the club out of this mess.

But we should also understand that kind of a job is not something you can solve quickly. It may take a couple of seasons of good and sensible business to bring Barcelona back from the brink.

Still, it is possible and with the right leadership, it should inevitably happen.

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