We are a little more than a week away before the 2022 FIFA World Cup gets underway, with several Barcelona players expected to participate in this coveted tournament.
Players such as Sergio Busquets, Raphinha and Frenkie de Jong are set to play key roles for their respective countries. At the same time, there are players who are desperate to make an impression that could not only help their nation but also see them earn more recognition at Camp Nou.
Here, at Barça Universal, we are taking a look at three Barça players who could be more important for the Catalans after the World Cup.
Franck Kessie has been arguably the most disappointing signing for Barcelona this season. Joining from AC Milan on a free transfer, the midfielder has struggled to make an impression at Camp Nou, often struggling with a lack of prominence in the first team.
At the halfway point of the campaign, Kessie has earned only two starts in the league, falling behind the likes of Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, and Gavi in the pecking order.
However, Kessie could become a key player for Barça in the second half of the campaign, especially because Ivory Coast are not participating in the upcoming World Cup. The break should give him ample time to work with Xavi and settle into the Spaniard’s tactical setup.
Jules Kounde is currently one of Barcelona’s main defenders, especially due to his sheer potential and athleticism which makes him an ideal long-term replacement for the recently retired Gerard Pique.
However, it is worth noting that the former Sevilla starlet may not start for France in the World Cup. Even if he does feature, he is likely to operate at right-back rather than his preferred centre-back role.
Nevertheless, the experience gained in the World Cup, coupled with the exposure to the highest level of football, should do wonders for Kounde and make him an even more important player for Barcelona in the second half of the campaign.
Ansu Fati’s call-up to the Spanish side was one of the biggest surprises when Luis Enrique revealed his final squad for the trip to Qatar.
Although the forward will likely not be a starter for La Roja in this showpiece event, the unexpected call-up to the national side should give the motivation to perform well and perhaps even become a key attacking outlet for Spain in the competition.
Fati’s potential success at the World Cup may also pave the way for the attacker to gain a more important role for the Barcelona side during the second half of the season.
So far this term, the explosive winger has already only earned three starts in the league, which is far too low for a player of his calibre. Hence, it will be interesting to see how he performs at the World Cup, along with Kounde whereas Kessie will be looking to take advantage of the break to get himself more acclimatized to life at Barça.