Updated: May 25
Barcelona has experienced turbulence since the end of the Messi, Neymar, Suarez era on the 3rd of August, 2017. The departure of all three caused the club to suffer on and off the field.
Finances have been at an all-time low after paying unnecessarily high wages to players, Covid-19 hitting them hard, and poor decisions from past club president Josep Bartomeu. Without enough funds to purchase much-needed replacements in certain positions, they have relied on inexperienced high potential youth over the past few years.
Pedri, Gavi, Araujo, Puig, and Fati have all been key parts of the club's stability, but without quality veteran players it's hard to succeed at the highest level.
With hopes of continuing to play elite European football, the Barcelona board has cycled through manager after manager to see who can get the most out of this team. Valverde, Setien, and Ronald Koeman have all been at the wheel between 2019 and now.
Each of them has had successes throughout their time, but failed at the larger task of bringing Barca back to where they belong. Looking for any sign of hope, the Barca board finally listened to the fans and brought in Barcelona legend Xavi to take charge of the club.
Xavi took over in November of 2021 after winning 7 titles in 3 years whilst managing Al Sadd of the Qatar Stars League. Whether he would succeed in this role or not was questioned by many, but so far, the Barcelona legend has pulled off some fantastic work in his first 7 months in charge.
When Xavi took the reigns they were in 9th place, and now they now find themselves in 2nd at the tail end of the season. They have secured a champions league spot for next season, and can now start to work on building their squad from the ground up.
Xavi has already made big signings such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Adama Traoré, Ferrán Torres, & Dani Alves. These players have made a big impact since they joined, and it's clear that Xavi has intentions to continue bringing in key players like this.
One of the biggest targets on Xavi’s mind at the moment seems to be the Polish striker Robert Lewandowski. As of May 10th, 2022, the big poacher has bagged 49 goals and contributed 7 assists throughout 45 games this season with Bayern Munich. These numbers aren’t outliers in his stats either. He has found a way to do this every year for a very long time.
Known as one of the best to ever do it in his position, Lewandowski would be a huge pickup for Xavi & the Catalan club. If they can secure this buy and continue honing their craft under Xavi, no one would be surprised to see this team competing with Real Madrid for the La Liga title, or even making a run in the Champions League next year.