Ronald Koeman has made four changes to the team full of youngsters that started against Dynamo Kyiv on Wednesday. Barcelona fared fairly well in a game where none of the four captains started, but his game welcomes the return of Lionel Messi in the team, paired up with Antoine Griezmann. Martin Braithwaite has also been given another start following his brace in Ukraine.
Sergino Dest retains his spot over the right-back spot despite an injury scare. Jordi Alba returns on the opposite side as the left-back, while Oscar Mingueza starts his second game in a row, paired up alongside Clement Lenglet in the heart of the defence. This back-four will guard Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who takes care of the net in goal.
It looks like Ronald Koeman has finally reverted to a 4-3-3 as Frenkie de Jong starts in the heart of the pitch, playing as the defensive midfielder, while Philippe Coutinho and Pedri flank him on either side of the pitch.
Confirmed Barcelona Lineup: Ter Stegen; Dest, Mingueza, Lenglet, Alba; Coutinho, de Jong, Pedri; Braithwaite, Messi, Griezmann
The lineup makes little to no sense on paper, in either a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1. This makes it even clearer that Koeman is struggling to put together the pieces in the lineup following several injuries to his players, including Gerard Pique, Ronald Araujo, Ansu Fati, among others.
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.