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Three talking points ahead of Barcelona vs Mallorca



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Ahead of their trip to Spotify Camp Nou, Mallorca sit just three points away from a place in Europe. Osasuna currently occupies the berth to participate in the UEFA Conference League, but a win for Javier Aguirre’s men against Barcelona could go a long way in displacing the Pamplona-based side.

Barcelona, for their part, have looked far from their best since winning the La Liga title against Espanyol. There has been a dire lack of drive in the Catalan side and it has cost them in their past two games.

The situation on Sunday, however, will be different. Barcelona have a lot to play for against Mallorca, not for the leaderboard but a set of factors that supersedes the league standings.

Barça Universal brings you three talking points ahead of Barcelona vs Mallorca.

1. The end of an era

When Xavi arrived to take over at Barcelona, many doubted his ability to handle the dressing room. The presence of some of his former teammates could pave the way to favouritism, claimed some skeptics.

Yet, the reality is far from that. A year and a half later, Gerard Pique no longer remains an FC Barcelona player while Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets are set to play their final game at Camp Nou tomorrow.

The team was not ready for the duo’s departure. Truth be told, the squad would never have been ready to bid adieu to two of the club’s most iconic players and leaders.

In that sense, Sunday’s game marks the end of an era for Barcelona. Alba and Busquets represent the last standing pieces of the Catalans’ previous generation, and their departure leaves the youngsters on their own to steer the ship.

Expect an emotional atmosphere at Camp Nou tomorrow as the two players bid farewell to the club where they won it all. They have rightfully engraved their names among Barcelona’s greatest players and deserve a fitting farewell to mark the final page of what has been a glorious journey.

2. A moral duty

Tomorrow, two legends bid goodbye. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

The theme of Barcelona’s clash against Mallorca will rightfully be centred around Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba. While there may be minor storylines around the game, the duo has earned the right to steal the limelight on their final game in Catalonia.

The veterans have been more than captains for Xavi Hernandez’s side over the past year. On the field, they have always given it their all. Yet, both players have selflessly acted as mentors for the younger players even when not in the limelight.

It is safe to say that Pedri, Gavi, and Frenkie de Jong have immensely benefited from Busquets’ vast mine of experience. Concurrently, Alejandro Balde was constantly groomed by Alba over the past season and the improvement in his level is a testament to the Spanish veteran’s commitment.

It thus becomes the moral duty of every player in garnet-and-blue to push for a special win on Sunday. After all, the least the team can do for the departing legends is ensure a win on their final outing at home.

Barcelona are winless in their last two games and the momentum is not on their side. A victory on Sunday, therefore, is seen as a need more than a want.

3. Adios Camp Nou

It will be a day of farewells on Sunday for Barcelona, not only to the players set to leave but also to the Spotify Camp Nou.

The iconic stadium is set to enter a full-string renovation as part of the Espai Barça project, one that aims to convert the existing home into a state-of-the-art establishment. With the construction set to begin, tomorrow will be Barcelona’s final game at the Camp Nou for more than a year.

The Catalans will not play at all at their home ground next season. In fact, it is the first time in 66 years since its opening that they will face such a long hiatus without treading its grasses.

Barcelona will call the Montjuic Olympic Stadium their home for next season, but one knows that no ground can replicate the impact and grandeur of Spotify Camp Nou.

The stadium will bear a completely new look when reopened, and it will be special to witness fans, players and the administration pay one last homage to the stadium in all of its majestic glory.

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