Ronald Koeman has been forced into making a couple of changes to his starting XI ahead of the game against Atletico Madrid, starting from the injury to Sergio Busquets. The only other player in the team in that position – Miralem Pjanic – replaces him, partnering alongside Frenkie de Jong.
Sergino Dest was expected to feature over Sergi Roberto for this game, coming on the back of a sensational display with the USMNT, but has been benched for the Spaniard. Jordi Alba retains his place in the lineup, alongside Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet. This back-four will guard Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who takes care of the net in goal.
In attack, we will continue to see Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi link up playing as the front two, while Ousmane Dembele flanks them from the right. Pedri replaces the injured Ansu Fati on the left-wing, who picked up an injury against Real Betis to complete the front-four.
Confirmed Barcelona Lineup: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Pjanic, de Jong; Dembele, Messi, Pedri; Griezmann
Ronald Koeman has been forced into a couple of changes for this game, but the exclusion of Dest seems unwarranted and a poor performance from Roberto will see social media taken by a storm yet again, like it happened against Betis when Barcelona conceded two goals from his flank.
Source: FC Barceona
Barcelona have spent a record 1 billion Euros in last five seasons
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.