Barcelona’s decline more evident than ever

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The last few years have been evidently hard for FC Barcelona; a club that dominated European trophies and the Spanish league for years and years. A team coached by Pep Guardiola looked almost unstoppable at times with the rise of Lionel Messi. Two Champions League trophies in three years (’08/’09 & ’10/’11) speaks volumes.

Ever since the departure of Pep Guardiola back in 2012, the Catalan club have struggled on the field, but mostly off the field. Bringing through top talent from the glorified La Masia academy has been a part of Barcelona’s nature since the 90’s; but in recent years, the club has been bringing academy players through to the first team just to sell them for minimal prices.

For a club that dominated the Champions League for years, Barcelona have only won the illustrious trophy once in the last six years (’14/’15 v Juventus) and only made it past the quarter finals once in the last four years.

Now onto some numbers.. Barcelona have spent 544 million Euros and only received 194 millions Euros since 2012, a net fee of 350 million Euros. It all gets worse because if you look at the calibre of signings they have made after spending these big bucks and you look at the little amount of money they received for such quality players, it’s absolutely crazy. Let’s take a look now at the transaction history…

2011/2012 – Spent 51m / Received 39m

IN:

  • Cesc Fabregas 28m
  • Alexis Sanchez 22m
  • Thiago (Academy)
  • Cuenca (Academy)

OUT:

  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic 20m
  • Bojan 10m
  • Maxwell 2m
  • Jeffren 3m

 

2012/2013 – Spent 28m / Received 425K

IN:

  • Alba 11m
  • Song 16m
  • Montoya (Academy)
  • Marc Muniesa (Academy)
  • Jonathan Dos Santos (Academy)
  • Marc Bartra (Academy)
  • Cristian Tello (Academy)

OUT:

  • Muniesa 425K

 

2013/2014 – Spent 86m / Received 23m

IN:

  • Neymar 75m
  • Bojan 11m
  • Gerard Deulofeu (Academy)
  • Sergi Roberto (Academy)
  • Rafinha (Academy)

OUT:

  • Thiago 21m
  • David Villa 1m
  • Bojan (Loan)
  • Eric Abidal (Free)
  • Gerard Deulofeu (Loan)
  • Rafinha (Loan)

 

2014/2015 – Spent 141m / Received 69m

IN:

  • Luis Suarez 70m
  • Jeremy Mathieu 17m
  • Thomas Vermaelen 16m
  • Ivan Rakitic 15m
  • Marc Andre Ter-Stegen 10m
  • Claudio Bravo 10m
  • Denis Suarez (Academy)
  • Jordi Masip (Academy)
  • Douglas 3m

OUT:

  • Alexis Sanchez 36m
  • Cesc Fabregas 28m
  • Cristian Tello (Loan)
  • Bojan 1m
  • Jonathan Dos Santos 1m
  • Isaac Cuenca (Free)
  • Denis Suarez (Loan)
  • Gerard Deulofeu (Loan)
  • Victor Valdes (Free)
  • Carles Puyol (Retired)

 

2015/2016 – Spent 43m / Received 32m

IN:

  • Arda Turan 29m
  • Aleix Vidal 14m
  • Sandro Ramirez (Academy)
  • Munir El Haddadi (Academy)
  • Alen Halilovic (Academy)
  • Denis Suarez (Back from loan)

OUT:

  • Pedro 22m
  • Deulofeu 5m
  • Denis Suarez 3m
  • Xavi (Free)
  • Alen Halilovic (Loan)
  • Martin Montoya (Loan)

 

2016/2017 – Spent 104m/Received 28m

IN:

  • Andre Gomes 30m
  • Paco Alcacer 25m
  • Samuel Umtiti 21m
  • Lucas Digne 14m
  • Jasper Cillessen 11m
  • Denis Suarez 2m
  • Sergi Samper (Academy)

OUT:

  • Claudio Bravo 15m
  • Marc Barta 6m
  • Alen Halilovic 4m
  • Dani Alves (Free)
  • Sergi Samper (Loan)
  • Munir (Loan)
  • Sandro (Free)

 

2017/2018 – Spent 40m/Received 3m

IN:

  • Nelson Semedo 26m
  • Gerard Deulofeu 10m
  • Marlon 4m

OUT:

  • Cristian Tello 3m
  • Jordi Masip (Free)
  • Jeremy Mathieu (Free)
  • Neymar 198m

 

A lot of information to take in there but now we will highlight all of Barcelona’s key transfers that epitomize the decline. (There are quite a few):

  1. David Villa was signed for 35 million Euros and sold to a league rival for just 1 million Euros.
  2. Thiago was brought through academy, sat on bench too long and joined Pep at Bayern for just 25 million Euros.
  3. Alex Song joined for 16 million Euros then left on a free transfer after barely playing.
  4. Jeremy Mathieu was signed for 17 million Euros and sold to Sporting CP for free.
  5. Arda Turan was signed for 29 million Euros when the club have, but now HAD Sergi Samper, Alen Halilovic and Denis Suarez in the academy.
  6. Selling Alen Halilovic for just 4m to Hamburg after never giving him an opportunity in the first team, instead letting him rot away in relegation with Barcelona B.
  7. Bouncing around Deulofeu, Denis Suarez and Tello. Loaning and selling Deulofeu so many times and finally bringing him back but not even making a profit on him and loaning Tello out so many times to only sell him to Real Betis for 3 million Euros.
  8. The worst ones in my opinion, Andre Gomes for 30 million Euros and Paco Alcacer for 25 million. Where is Samper? Sandro? Munir? These two signings really show that there is no hope at all in La Masia and that Barcelona are a buying club instead of putting faith in their talented youngsters.
  9. The club sold Marc Bartra, who is a very young experienced defender who trained and played alongside Puyol and Pique, for only 6 million Euros to Borussia Dortmund.
  10. Letting Dani Alves go is a crime. The heart and soul of the Barcelona team, but to make it worse.. FREE transfer to Juventus.

 

Next, you think to yourself, what could be worse? Well when you look at the current squad and the key players, they are all 28 and older. For example:

Pique: 30

Rakitic: 29

Busquets: 29

Turan: 30

Iniesta: 33

Suarez: 30

Messi: 30

Mascherano: 33

Jordi Alba: 28

You look at this and you can only think that the club will just keep buying and buying instead of promoting academy players to replace the stars of now. Also, how much will all these aging players be sold for in the coming years?

One player from the academy right now I have my eye on is Carles Alena. Barcelona since birth and has come through the academy. Carles has made a few senior appearances last season and is with the team on pre-season. He looks a real talent to replace Iniesta in the future, but, will the club have faith in him? Or, loan him out until they decide to sell him to an average Spanish team? It’s not a good time to be a young player at Barcelona.

Real Madrid are miles ahead of Barcelona financially and last season Madrid won the Champions League and La Liga. Dani Ceballos from Real Betis opted to join Madrid and be on the bench rather than have a crucial role in the Barcelona squad.

As if things couldn’t get worse; Brazilian superstar who is part of the illustrious trio, Neymar, signed for PSG on a world-record deal. Barcelona might have gotten a lot of money but in reality who can actually replace Neymar?

A realistic replacement is obviously Paulo Dybala of Juventus. Being tipped as “the next Messi” it would be pretty smart for him to join Messi at Barcelona, nonetheless Dybala has committed his future to Juventus for now and won’t be leaving this summer. If the club was smart they would hold onto the Neymar money and maybe bring back Halilovic who has bags of potential and play Denis Suarez in his preferred left wing position and then go all out for Dybala next summer.

The club is clearly in disarray, it is very clear. Barcelona need to sort out the back-room staff and really wake up because before they know it they can end up like Manchester United after Sir Alex Ferguson retired. TRUST ME, that is for sure not a pretty sight.

 

 

 

 

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