Practicing those soccer skills and working tirelessly at basic techniques is one way to get to the top. Every team needs to maintain their drills but, at times, some may be guilty of relying on their teammates.
Is that the case in Barcelona? After a disappointing season in 2019/20, there were strong rumors that Lionel Messi would finally be leaving the club. The Argentinian has been with Barcelona for his entire professional career to date but another poor campaign leaves his future in even greater doubt.
A Fruitless Campaign
Following Barcelona’s Champions League elimination at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain, Messi and his teammates must now focus on what looks to be a forlorn hope of winning Spain’s domestic league. With 12 games left in the current La Liga campaign, Barca was in third place, seven points behind the leaders Atletico Madrid but with a game in hand.
It’s not an insurmountable gap but success is looking increasingly unlikely and the sportsbooks certainly agree. At that point in the season, bookmakers affiliated with sbo.net were showing Atleti as the clear, odds on favourites. Barcelona was classed as second favourites but they were some way behind and that appears to be a fair reflection of the current situation.
The 2020/21 La Liga season has just a few weeks to run but sbo.net will continue to update those outright winner markets until such time as the title has been decided. In the meantime, there will be news reports and relevant opinion posts, plus offers and promotions should any readers wish to get involved with the markets.
Should Barcelona miss out, the Catalan club will look towards a more effective campaign in 2021/22 and their first task will be to keep hold of their biggest asset.
Barca may be struggling but it’s not due to a lack of contribution from Lionel Messi. At such an advanced stage of the season, the Argentinian had scored 25 goals in 35 matches across all competitions and that ratio compares favourably to the previous campaign.
One possible issue relates to a lack of support for Messi among the other strikers. Antoine Griezmann was bought for a considerable fee from rivals Atletico Madrid in 2019 but the French World Cup winner had scored just 12 goals in his first 38 matches of the 2020/21 season. Teammate Ousmane Dembele is faring even worse with eight goals in 33 games at the same period in time. If Messi is to stay at the Nou Camp, he needs better support and could see some new faces arriving in the summer.
As any football tactician will know, it’s important for attacking midfielders to provide scoring support for the main strikers. That is happening at Barcelona to an extent but the poor returns from Griezmann and Dembele cannot be ignored.
It’s therefore no surprise that Barcelona is being linked to two of the most prolific centre forwards in world football. Norwegian international Erling Haaland has been on the radar of top clubs for some time and he’s averaging at around a goal every game with Borussia Dortmund. Over in France, Kylian Mbappe isn’t quite so productive but he’s still being spoken of as a potential target for Barca in the close season.
Recent success for Barcelona was built around an attacking triumvirate of Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Luis Suarez. Messi is still there but the club has yet to adequately fill the gaps left by his former strike partners. If they are to regroup and start winning major silverware again, Messi must stay but it’s equally important to find better scoring support.