On this day: 16 years since Lionel Messi’s Barcelona debut

The date was October 16, 2004, the opponents were Espanyol and it was the 82nd minute.

Lionel Andres Messi was about to make history as the youngest player ever to play for Barcelona’s first-team, at 17 years, three months and 22 days old.

Little did the world know at that time what awaited them. Continue reading

Braithwaite’s Barcelona dream turning into a nightmare

There’s been an awful lot going on at the Camp Nou just lately, with the Lionel Messi situation and the vote of no confidence for president, Josep Maria Bartomeu and his board hogging the headlines.

Everywhere you turn there’s something else for Barca’s long-suffering supporters to get hot under the collar about.

However, there’s one player that’s kept his own counsel. Continue reading

Koeman silences the doubters but bigger tests await Barcelona

It was, perhaps, one of the most keenly awaited debuts in La Liga for many a year.

After such a disastrous end to their last campaign, the football family wanted to know how the ‘new’ Barcelona would fare under Ronald Koeman.

It’s fair to say that the team did everything asked of them by their coach, and then some. Continue reading

Messi’s words on Suarez exit show Barcelona scars run deep

It should’ve been a time of reflection and celebration.

A time to look back on the six years that Luis Suarez has been at Barcelona, and remember him for the right reasons.

After all, the Uruguayan marksman leaves the club having become the third highest scorer in their history. Continue reading

What would represent success for Barcelona in 2020/21?

Barcelona are still a week and a half away from the start of their La Liga campaign, thanks to their Champions League exploits.

Beginning their 2020/21 season behind everyone else will already put them at a slight disadvantage, but if Ronald Koeman can have his side firing from the get-go, then there’s no reason why they can’t close the gap quickly.

In any event, what would represent success for the Catalans this season? Continue reading

Are there any winners from the Messi situation?

It was one of the darkest periods in FC Barcelona’s recent history.

When Lionel Messi gave notice, via an official burofax, that he wanted to leave the club, it signalled a huge changing of the guard at the club.

He has since had the opportunity to clarify why he had taken such a decision, and it won’t sit well with many of the clubs supporters.

The fact that he was particularly scathing about president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, will have irked as much of the fan base as it will have delighted. Continue reading

Ivan Rakitic leaves Barcelona with his head high

After the 8-2 humiliation against Bayern Munich, there were always going to be casualties, and not just on the coaching side.

The result was so cataclysmic for the Catalans, that if a root and branch clear out wasn’t necessary, then something approaching it probably was.

Barca’s lowest ebb of this millennium needed strong decisions to finally be made, no matter what. Continue reading

Lionel Messi is not bigger than FC Barcelona

As unpalatable as the current situation with Lionel Messi at Barcelona may be, the Argentinian is not bigger than the club.

Yes, he is by far their greatest ever player and yes, the club owe him a monstrous debt of gratitude, but that’s where it ends.

The captain is an employee just like anyone else. Continue reading

Selling Luis Suarez is the right decision for Barcelona

It’s all change at Barcelona with Ronald Koeman having been handed the task of getting the Catalans back to where they belong.

A horrific 8-2 Champions League quarter-final defeat to Bayern Munich laid bare just how far the Blaugranes have fallen, and on the back of such a seismic result there was always going to be casualties.

Quique Setien and his staff were quickly followed by Eric Abidal, but now it’s Koeman’s turn to weed out the under-performers from his squad. Continue reading

Barcelona look to the past as they head to the future

It’s a tried and tested method with football clubs when appointing new managers.

Go with someone who has played for the club in the past so therefore understands the heritage, the demands of the fans, what it means to play for the badge etc.

Although such moves are understandable, they’re always a bit hit and miss in terms of how successful the new incumbent becomes. Continue reading