Player Ratings: FC Barcelona vs. Real Betis

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 20: FC Barcelona players line up to observe a minute's silence in memory of victims of the terrorist attack in Barcelona this week prior to start the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Betis Balompie at Camp Nou stadium on August 20, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

We are all Barcelona. The city needed a victory and the club delivered in the fashion of a two to nil victory over Real Betis. Incredibly the thing the match missed the most was a goal by the great Lionel Messi. FC Barcelona dominated the match, but things could have been much different if not for a world class tackle from Javier Mascherano.

Marc-André ter Stegen – 6.5

The young German had a strong, calm match save for when the aforementioned Mascherano had to save his bacon in the 38th minute. His distribution was what club fans have come to expect from him.

Jordi Alba – 7.5

Ran up and down the left flank like a kid in a toy store. Defensively he was just as strong as has was offensively. Alba formed a great partnership with his left sided midfield partner, Sergi Roberto. The club will need a heavy dose of that this season.

Samuel Umtiti – 7.5

One word encapsulates the young Frenchman and that is strong. Passes were on point and his air game was towering. Quietly becoming one of the best young center backs in the game.

Javier Mascherano – 8.0

Will win most of the defensive praise from the match after his last ditch world class tackle changed the tide of the match and rightfully so. Center back should not be a problem for the club this season if everyone stays healthy.

Nélson Semedo – 7.5

Could hardly ask for more from a débutante on his La Liga debut. Elegantly he strode up and down the right flank to great effect. It was a pleasure to watch his runs into the box and hopefully will be for many more seasons. Signing of the season so far.

Sergi Roberto – 8.0

Mr. Work-rate. A bit of Andrés Iniesta here, Xavi there, and Thiago sometimes. He is Sergi Roberto. This player proves match after match he is getting better and belongs in a side like FC Barcelona. He scored the second goal of the match with precision.

Sergio Busquets – 7.5

Masterclass of movement, passing, and defense. He is the best in the world at what he does. One begins to wonder if Ernesto Valverde will use Sergi Samper or Paulinho in the pivot and allow Sergio to push forward. Other than Messi he is the team’s most creative player at the moment. He gets the ball to Messi.

Ivan Rakitić – 7.0

Quiet game from the Croatian. He steadied the ship when a defensive play was needed or if the ball needed to move up the pitch. Does the club need a more creative member or have a controller in this position? Philippe Coutinho or Jean Seri perhaps?

Gerard Deulofeu – 8.5

Man of the match performance from the man in the spotlight. Two runs and passes of his led to the two Barcelona goals. He doesn’t look as hesitant as he did in the Super Cup but needs more time on the pitch to shine.

Paco Alcácer – 5.0

Anonymous from the Spaniard. It’s too soon to write this, but Denis Suárez should take more of his minutes.

Lionel Messi – 8.0

He hit the woodwork three times with such venom they will forever shake. Darting runs and near misses on free kicks were the names of the day. A mediocre match from Messi is still most men’s best day.


Aleix Vidal – 5.5

I like the move of putting Vidal on the right wing, but he was a step slow in this early season cameo. We need his pre-injury form to return.

Denis Suárez – 6.0 

The club needs Denis to step up this season.

Lucas Digne – 5.0

His bad clearance led to a chance on goal in the 88th minute, keep in mind the Frenchman came on in the 86th. Finished his short bad night with a bad yellow in 92nd minute. Better days are ahead from him.


The club needed a victory and the players responded. It was nice to see Messi in the middle as a false nine and the partnership he started with Deulofeu. One match in league and one victory, job done. What do you think?


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  • I know these are subjective, but you’re subjectively wrong.
    Busquets was no better than a 5, Paco a 3 at most and Messi by fat MotM. Without Messi Barça wouldn’t have created a single chance and most fans would leave the stadium at half time. Alba was also not as good as Semedo our the two centre backs imo, but this is less important.

    Keep up the good work and we appreciate the effort ??

    • Kneowell Anyanwu

      I agree with you, Messi was the only creative fulcrum we had as created chances for both goals.
      Busquet was poor, often losing the ball with a couple of bad passes.
      I wouldn’t rate Paco that low though, his movements were almost the same thing we got from Suarez, and he didn’t get a chance on goal to convert. Suarez can be shitty a whole match too until bang! He scores a goal. Rakitic was involved in a lot of ball recovery work, Semedo gives serious hopes. Roberto is growing into the midfield and embodying it. Mascherano and Umtiti partnership isn’t bad either

  • Muhammad Shahab

    Messi is starting to walk more and detached more from any defensive responsiblity as he gets older. Obviously that’s the price we are willing to pay, because Messi is our best attacking player and our only chance creator. I think the other players have to step up their defensive performance to compensate for Messi. Good match btw.

  • Jordan Saf

    Off topic, but I needed a place to write this:

    Should the members, the players or even the general fan base revolt?

    Perhaps Laporta left the club with a less than optimal financial health (I haven’t verified that info), but he still governed a period of finally winning the 2nd Champions League, he got us Ronaldinho (although believe it or not he was a fallback plan after failing to land Beckham), in his time we got Eto and retained Messi. When the team started to decline and the world called it “the end of the Barca era”, he took a chance on Guardiola and in one season we were and still the first team to win the six-tuple and we dominated the world with the tiki-taka, we had the best team spine in the world in Valdez, Puyol, Xavi and Messi.

    Yes, we can’t say all that success was led by Laporta, of course there is an element of stars aligning for all that to work, of course it is greatly thanks to the greatly unlikely scenario of having the best footballers of their generation in their respective positions in one team managed by the very right coach that teaches to their strengths. Messi is the greatest of all time for me, and Xavi is the best central midfielder. You could easily make a case for Iniesta, Busquets and Puyol being of the best 5 in history in their respective positions, and Valdez is the most successful goalkeeper in Barca’s history and possibly la liga. We had a peaking Eto, a mature Henry, a wall-solid Abidal and a rising Pique. Things worked.

    But it can’t be a coincidence all that success was in one president’s era, and all the negative publicity, poor transfers, negligence of the academy and erratic performances is in another president’s era. Our next president is someone that went to jail for money laundering, did you ever let that one sink in, he’s in jail! And turns out the catalyst to that was the very Neymar that we thought will be the club’s future. Cruyff said it, you can’t have a ship with 2 captains and Messi and Neymar will not work. Neymar claims to be after a sporting project, but it’s easy to say that when you have lined up your and your dad’s pockets with all that cash. Thanks to Rosell Barca became a corporation entangled in tax fraud, money laundering, oil money and cash-cowing for the Neymar family, and I don’t believe Bartomeu is any better.

    When Bartomeu retained his seat in the 2015 election, it was on the back of winning the 3 titles the season before. On the face of it the club consequently seemed to be doing fine thanks to the MSN connecting and plugging the team’s holes elsewhere, but you can only paint over the cracks for so long. In my opinion these holes are not in our playing style or the so-called Barca DNAevery team plays according to the personnel and coach it has at the time. The holes are in squad management.

    In my opinion it is not about depth; Barca was always notoriously reliant on its first 11 and as of late we have more players in every position than before. Barca’s sporting model during it’s most successful periods was always based on a harmonious combination of a handful of star players, economical experienced players and promising academy graduates, with a limited number of squad players.

    The issues for me are:
    1. Toxic internal politics – just on this note, I think it is quite telling that Neymar is still friends with Mr.
    Barcelona (Messi) but in legal disputes with the Board.
    2. Bad asset management – we have been quite poor at retaining talent (Neymar, Alcantara), securing
    our targets and managing the finances.
    3. Negative image – our brand was always based on being more than a club, and you can’t create a team for the future if you’re wrapped in bad publicity and bad business with other clubs.

    So I say it again, is it time for the club to revolt?

  • jose

    We’ve been betrayed from the board!

    This is the most embarrassing transfer campaigns I’ve seen from any club.
    They have been clueless in the transfer market.
    Not only did abandon to our philosophy, they betrayed it!
    What’s more embarrassing? Real Madrid were in awe of Guardiola’s team and copied it which lead them to success.
    These assholes dumped the La Masia model and made shady signings throwing ridiculous amounts at mediocre players.

    the bad:
    – with only a couple days left the board failed to move on deadwood players
    – they showed the entire world that it’s easy rob us by paying 40 million euros for Paulinho (Bonucci went for 42M!!! [wtf Braida?!])
    – lead us to an identity crisis and failed to respect our club legends which resulted to the crisis we’re in now
    – they are clueless in managing PEOPLE. they’re sole focus is to run Barcelona like a business. this is BARCA! MES QUE UN CLUB!!!

    what we should do:
    – forget Coutinho!!! I don’t care what the transfer market is like right now, but he’s not worth anywhere close to 150million.
    – spend that money on Dybala. do whatever you can to seal that deal. give Juve Andre Gomes and Munir + cash to get Dybala!
    – we need a centre back to challenge Pique. someone young, strong and fast. Varane/Marquinhos type.
    – we have Iniesta’s replacement in Messi. there’s no better player.

    Ter Stegen;
    Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Alba;
    Rakitic, Busquets, Messi;
    Dybala, Suarez, Dembele.


    Ter Stegen;
    Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Alba;
    Busquets, Paulinho;
    Dybala, Messi, Dembele;

    • Pius Kamau

      I don’t think we need Dybala, we need a creative ball playing midfielder right now!!

      • jose

        Julian Weigl?