One of the most difficult – and overlooked – positions in all of sports is the goalkeeper. In many ways, they are the most important player in the defense. In a team like FC Barcelona, they are important tactically as well. As they can see the whole pitch, the keeper is often called upon to play the ball just like a midfield player. Being a keeper is an important job. Which is why I’m proud to say ours is Marc-André ter Stegen.
In the end Barcelona ended up dominating Espanyol in the Catalan Derby, but not after a a few early visits from lady luck. All four of the squad’s new summer signings took part in the match and all four showed glimmering glimpses of what Culés can expect in the coming months. Critics may argue the club is missing a player the caliber of Philippe Coutinho but currently the squad sits first in La Liga four points in front of Real Madrid.
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.
The first game of the league season is officially out of the way and as culés we honestly couldn’t have asked for a better start in terms of both results and performance. After honouring the victims of the recent terrorist attack in Barcelona and playing with Barcelona not just in their hearts, but on the backs of their shirts as well, the team recorded a comfortable 2-0 victory.
This victory has been perceived in different ways, but for most of us non-pessimists who want the team to move on from the shambolic Super Cup games this was a welcome step in the right direction. It wasn’t just a positive result, but a positive performance too.
Perspective is important in a game like this as there needs to be a balance, between optimism and downright negativity, and in order to paint an accurate picture of what this game means it is important to compare it to the aforementioned Super Cup games against Real Madrid; in particular the more recent second leg.
FC Barcelona, for all intents and purposes, is a desperate club right now. The Neymar transfer debacle has ended, and now the team wants to sign players to reinforce the squad and replace him.
So why are they so bad at it?
Nine years ago, I had a huge feeling of sadness. On July 16 2008, Ronaldinho left Barcelona for AC Milan. At 10 years of age, this was very hard to take. One of my favourite players, a player that lit up the Camp Nou from my first trips to the great stadium, was leaving my favourite club. It was always coming, but I didn’t want to believe it. I couldn’t see past Ronaldinho, for me there was no future after him. We had Leo Messi, Xavi and Andrés Iniesta, but, as an irrational 10-year-old, it was the end of Barcelona.
… and everything. Maybe it’s time for a moment of reflection. All the news floating around has made things difficult, but let’s try to take it in. Buckle up, this is going to be a long one.
Luis Enrique’s last game while at the helm for FC Barcelona culminated in the club’s ninth trophy in three seasons, and their third consecutive Copy del Rey victory.
Thanks to another decisive performance from Lionel Messi and additional goals from Neymar and Paco Alcácer, Barça came away with a 3-1 win against Alavés in the final match at the Vicente Calderón.
The concept of Luis Enrique’s Barcelona winning the league on the final day seemed a far-fetched idea since the loss to Málaga in April. The miracles can seem doable when they are in your hands but when you have to count on a team who have nothing to play for, it’s very difficult to be hopeful. So let’s discuss the final game of the league season and the Luis Enrique era, instead of getting caught up on the loss of the title.
With the fate of La Liga officially out of our hands, all we can do is continue to win and hope for a slip-up. The match on the weekend against Villarreal was a test: The best defense in the league was rolling, having won its last three games. But Barça found a way, as they often do.