Three reasons why players continue to choose Barcelona over Premier League clubs
There have been plenty of discussions about the fact that FC Barcelona have been making big moves in the transfer market this season despite all of their financial shortcomings. They have battled some rich Premier League clubs and triumphed in those battles to sign top players like Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Jules Kounde.
However, what barely anybody has been talking about is ‘WHY’ these players are refusing all these big opportunities to play in the prestigious Premier League and joining a Barça team who went trophyless last season and are going through some massive financial troubles.
We decided to take a look at the reasons WHY Barça have been able to beat all these English clubs, including their favourite target, Chelsea to the signature of these players.
The Xavi Effect
Xavi Hernandez returned to Camp Nou as the head coach, in the November of last year after the club sacked Ronald Koeman with the club in 10th place in La Liga at the time.
The Barcelona legend came in with the club looking set on a downward spiral having lost their identity and struggling massively with their economic situation.
However, fast forward to July 2022 and the Blaugrana seem to have turned their dire situation around with big-name signings like Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde and Raphinha.
Barça have had to fight off pressure from multiple clubs for their signings. And they have won the battle despite not offering anything remotely close to the financial deals that the other clubs had been offering.
One of the reasons for that has been the fact that Xavi has been in personal contact with all these players ever since the club started targeting them as potential signings.
One the day of his announcement, Kounde revealed that he had been in constant contact with Xavi throughout the transfer saga and that the manager had explained to him very carefully, and in detail, his plans for the upcoming seasons for both himself and the club in general.
The same was the case with both Raphinha and Lewandowski, as they too had been in contact with the coach and were impressed with his level of planning and confidence.
The Barcelona Heritage
Whether you are a fan of the Blaugrana or you despise them from the bottom of your heart, there is one thing that everybody agrees on: FC Barcelona is one of the biggest institutions in world football.
When it comes to heritage and stature in history, there have been two clubs that have always stood apart: Barça and Real Madrid. The kind of power and pull these two names bring to world football are unrivalled.
For Barça, this has been a saving grace as they have been going through somewhat of a difficult patch recently. The club, with all of their financial problems, have been heading toward a dire path, with the danger of the team not staying at a level good enough to match their reputation.
After having somewhat solved the financial issues in the short term, the Catalans are in a position stable enough that they can delve into the transfer market, however, a little cash-strapped compared to the others.
As was seen with Raphinha and Lewandowski, the club’s name and stature in history played a massive part in convincing them to join the Catalan club. Both the players throughout the summer have had only one goal in mind: to play for Barça.
In Raphinha’s case, the winger was ready to stay at Leeds United for another season, if the move to Spain was not possible. For Lewandowski, the Blaugrana were the only destination on his list despite interest from Chelsea and other clubs.
Chance to headline Xavi’s project
For players, pundits and fans alike, it has been apparent ever since Xavi’s arrival at the club, that the project that the Spaniard is building is a special one. Having gone on a dream run from January onwards, it was clear that there was something special brewing at Camp Nou.
At the start of every new era, there is the chance of becoming the face of the project. For Pep Guardiola, it was Xavi, Iniesta and Messi; for Luis Enrique, it was Messi, Suarez, and Neymar.
And for the players watching, they could be the face of the new Barça era that the club are embarking on under Xavi.
The enticement of playing for a team that creates so much excitement and vigour has to be one of the major reasons that Barcelona have been able to seduce so many top players into the team with limited financial tools at its disposal.
The prospect of playing under one of the greatest footballing minds that the world has ever seen, and the added bonus of possibly being one of the faces of the project under that legendary figure would be extremely tempting for any player at any level of the game.
That was definitely the case for Lewandowski, as the player has spent almost the entirety of his career in the Bundesliga. The 34-year-old identified the project and the possible fame that being the face of the Catalan club would bring to his legacy as a football player.
Despite going through a difficult period on and off the pitch, the current transfer window has proved that Barcelona continue to be a major pull for players in the transfer market. And with the squad that they have now, the Blaugrana have what it takes to reclaim their place at the top.