A devastating last season and the board’s poor decision has left the Spanish giant in shambles as several senior players desert the sinking ship.
A trophyless season and a humiliating 8-2 defeat against the German fireball Bayern Munich left the team from Nou Camp with a sulking face in front of the football fraternity.
However, FC Barcelona’s ordeal did not end there as several senior players decided to leave the team due to its poor management by the board over the last few years. A few unreasonable signings and the introduction of a new manager during the winter transfer session led to the frustration amongst the team.
The failure of the board and the manager to create a team around Messi further dampened Barca’s performance and consistency in the league. Thus, arch-rival Real Madrid went onto win their 34th La Liga title. Failures on all three platforms led Lionel Messi to hand in a transfer request which created an uproar among the fans. Surprisingly, senior players like midfielder Arturo Vidal and striker Luis Suarez too joined the bandwagon.
Arturo back to Serie A
Arturo Vidal’s transfer request was accepted by the Barcelona board as the Chilean completed a €1 million (£9,00,000) to join Serie A giants Inter Milan currently being led by manager Antonio Conte. The move allows Vidal to reunite with Conte under whom, the midfielder won three Serie A titles at his stay with Juventus (2012-2015).
“I only knew you from playing against you, and I always thought you were a phenomenon, but after being lucky enough to get to know you personally you surprised me even more,” wrote Messi as he paid tribute to his former teammate.
Suarez on the move
Over the last few days, Uruguay striker Luis Suarez has been linked with several clubs such as Juventus and Atletico Madrid. As per reports, Suarez and Juventus have reached an agreement. However, the former requires an Italian citizen to play for Juventus and thus, the move could be foiled if citizenship is not acquired successfully before the summer transfer window ends.
Messi’s transfer fiasco
When Lionel Messi stopped visiting the training sessions and handed in a transfer request, the Blaugrana fans were left with teary eyes. However, Messi’s dream of leaving the club was bottled due to a disagreement between the board and Messi over a 700 million release clause. Talking about the dispute, a disheartened and annoyed Messi said, “I thought and was sure that I was free to leave, the president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I stayed or not.”
What’s next for Barcelona?
With the confirmed exit of Vidal, Rakitic and probably Suarez in the next few days, a significant turnaround in the upcoming season would be a tough job for new manager Ronald Koeman and co. Not to mention, a lot weighs on the remaining senior players such as Messi, Pique and Busquets.