Barcelona in Crisis

Tomas Sampson, Contributing Writer

FC Barcelona is known as one of the best football clubs in the world. However, with the loss of key players Alexis Sanchez, Cesc Fabregas, Cristian Tello, and Carles Puyol due to retirement and transfers, Barcelona is not the dominant force that it once was. Also adding to the problems in the club is the recent firing of Barcelona’s Sporting Director, Andoni Zubizarreta. Zubizarreta is the man that signed new manager Luis Enrique Martinez.

After Barcelona’s loss against Real Sociedad, a wave of problems started for the prestigious and historic club. Manager Luis Enrique and Lionel Messi, Barcelona’s star player and regarded by most as the best player in the world, have clashed frequently and almost got into a fight at practice one day. Jeremy Mathieu, Barcelona’s newly acquired left back from Valencia, witnessed the incident and said, “It happened when we returned from holiday. Suddenly, because of a foul that didn’t get called, Leo threw a… minor tantrum. There was some friction; some things were said. Afterwards, the coach talked to him in the dressing room and that was that.” Further stories circulating in the Spanish press posited that numerous Barcelona players have disputed Luis Enrique’s coaching methods and tactics, and Messi was recently noted to have followed English football club Chelsea on Instagram. This all led to wild speculation that Messi’s career with Barcelona was coming to an end and that Chelsea and Manchester City could potentially bid for the Argentine international. The rumors were quickly put to an end when Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu stated that Messi and Enrique weren’t going anywhere, and Chelsea assistant coach Steve Holland also said that the team had no plans to acquire Messi. Messi also spoke up about the reports, telling Barca TV, “I don’t demand anything for me to stay because I have no intention of leaving [at any time].”

With all that said, things have been looking up for Barca off late. They have been unbeaten in their last five games, which include beating Atletico Madrid three times in a row, once in the regular season and twice for the Copa Del Rey competition. The magical trio of Suarez, Neymar, and Messi have been producing goals prolifically again, much to the club’s delight. Let’s see if they can keep up this streak and continue to grow as a club and as individuals.