La Liga rivals, Atletico Madrid finally got the better of former European champions Barcelona on Wednesday as midfielder Koke scored an early goal that guided the former to a 1-0 win and into the UCL semis.
La Liga rivals, Atletico Madrid finally got the better of former European champions Barcelona on Wednesday as midfielder Koke scored an early goal that guided the former to a 1-0 win and into the Champions League semi-finals with a 2-1 aggregate victory.
By the virtue of this result, it means that the Catalan giants must contemplate the fact that they have failed to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League since 2007. So what’s leading to their downfall? We highlight some points that has rocked the ‘pass masters’:
Lionel Messi’s hampered form
Barcelona has mainly depended on their talisman and star striker, Leo Messi to score the goals and take the side home. Not in this case. Messi failed to influence the game against Atletico Madrid and looked out of depth. Furthermore, ever since his return from injury, Messi and Barcelona have looked jaded and out of touch.
Transfer snub affecting them badly
Football’s governing body FIFA slapped the Blaugrana with a suspension from transfer activity in the next two transfer windows after identifying irregularities in the signings of 10 young players over recent seasons. If the ban stays, Barcelona will lack the quality that they once produced to reign over Europe.
Martino’s flayed tactics
Ever since his appointment this season, Tata Martino has received the flak for Barcelona’s poor performances on the pitch. This season, Barca have lost to lower league sides like Osasuna and Real Sociedad and with UEFA Champions League exit, pressure mounts on Martino to deliver the goods – La Liga Title.
What was considered as a ‘major signing of the summer’ turned out to be one of Barca’s biggest low when Spanish courts opened up investigations into the transfer of Brazil international Neymar from Santos in the close-season. The deal faced claims of misuse of funds, with Spanish media alleging to have documents showing the cost of the Neymar deal was nearer to 95million euros as opposed to the estimated figure of 57million euros.
The above highlighted points are one of the many reasons that has resulted in Barcelona’s gradual downfall. One may not have seen this coming but the Catalans have also not been aided by injuries to their key players at certain points. Whatever the reasons, Messi and co. are in for a tough battle going ahead! todo lo mejor