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Lionel Messi is expected to return to the starting XI against Osasuna

Domagoj Kostanjšak

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Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

This week, Barcelona successfully secured their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League, beating Dynamo Kyiv with style. However, it was a game the Azulgrana had to play without both Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong.

The two crucial players for Ronald Koeman’s system were given a week off to rest and recover since they have been playing a lot as of late. Leo, in particular, could use a break since, of course, he’s not the youngest anymore and he may very well need to be used more sparingly.

But Messi is still Messi and he wants to play whenever possible. With that in mind, SPORT are reporting that the Argentine is set to return to the starting XI this weekend against Osasuna. This mid-week exclusion, they say, was nothing more than a little break for Barcelona’s icon and will have served the purpose of refreshing him and letting him catch his breath.

The 2020/21 season hasn’t been too kind on Messi either, both in terms of his performances and the publicity from the media. We still don’t know whether he’ll stay at the Camp Nou past January but at the moment, he’s still here and will lead Barcelona for the time being.

After all, there are a couple of records in his sights that the fans are eager to see him break sooner rather than later. And then, of course, there’s also the fact that Leo still wants to win it all with the Catalans.

I’ve been a Barcelona fan for more than half of my life. What started as blind love is slowly turning into professional writing. Now, I get to write about Barca, analyse them, and voice my opinions on them across platforms. I’m happy to be a part of this big project.

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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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