It’s hard to know what Barcelona, ââand then La Liga, are at the moment.
Administratively, the Catalans have a lower payroll, but the loss of Lionel Messi – and how they did it – rocked the club’s brand. At the board level, President Joan Laporta seems puzzled as to whether or not manager Ronald Koeman has confidence. On match days, the squad is a mix of brilliant sparks scrambling to recapture an unrecoverable vibe that only 17 seasons of Argentinian flair can bring.
The state of play appears to be stagnant. Barcelona is a bit confused. Meanwhile, La Liga president Javier Tebas is not winning any popularity contests. He plays a delicate game, defending the most renowned teams in Spain and condemning the race of Paris Saint-Germain, whom he considers an âenemyâ of the game. Deep down, he knows that the mastodons of Barcelona and Real Madrid are not exempt from the stubborn nature of juggernaut football, always with their sights set on a Super League or similar reincarnation down the line.
Obtaining lucrative new TV partnerships remains elusive, with the big heads unwilling to sing from the same score as teams further in the league. In the overseas market, ESPN’s rights to stream games come out. The deal, which runs until 2030, is reportedly worth around 1.2 billion euros ($ 1.4 billion). Yet it was far from straightforward on all fronts. Barcelona, ââReal, Athletic Club and an anonymous second-division club are undermining La Liga’s deal with private investment firm CVC to receive a financial injection of around â¬ 2.7 billion (3.2 billion billions of dollars).
As a competition, La Liga is more convincing than ever, although Madrid already have a convincing case of title victory. Of course, no Messi leaves a void, but the extent to which his absence detracts from the show may be a bit of a stretch. Despite all the hype, Messi has since been a peripheral figure on the pitch since arriving in Paris, looking like a luxury accessory while his teammates, including compatriots Ander Herrera, Ãngel di MarÃa and Mauro Icardi, are scoring the points. In his defense, manager Mauricio Pochettino’s seemingly bizarre decision to withdraw Messi in a recent league game was due to an injury issue. Nevertheless, the idea of Messi today is just as powerful as the 34-year-old striker himself.
It’s not just Messi, however. The idea that any contemporary can take up the torch in his wake is a major mental obstacle. It’s a logical and instinctive response, but a rather hasty conclusion to draw when a handful of outstanding players impress at such a young age. No one can replace Messi. They can, however, write their own stories and become household names in the years to come. One of those players is Ansu Fati.
Much attention has been drawn to Pedri, the Barcelona midfielder who drew comparisons to legend AndrÃ©s Iniesta, and it’s easy to see why, with his purring football brain constantly monitoring the space and bodies around. from him. Ansu may have gone under the radar, having suffered a long-term knee injury that kept him out for almost a year. He celebrated a long-awaited return to action with a nice late goal against Levante in the final round of matches.
Out of the hazy landscape of Barcelona comes a gem of a football player. Unlike disorganization elsewhere, the Spain international, who turns 19 in October, makes perfect sense: mind and body in effortless harmony, drifting off the pitch.
Barcelona need it. Ansu is not Messi, and neither should he be. With his former teammate gone, the Guinea-Bissau-born teenager may be the man to catapult his team into a new era. People are waiting to see what emerges from Messi’s void, and they might already see the answer. Barcelona have many faces, from established striker Memphis Depay to academy product Gavi. In this period of transition, however, there is no lighthouse. It remains to be seen whether Ansu will be that individual. There are all the chances.
Despite all his talent, he still has a lot to prove. The injury stunted his development and the last time he played regularly was two seasons ago. Spain coach Luis Enrique will be particularly happy to see him return. The leader has only played four times for La Roja, but will be an attractive attacking option at the World Cup next December. That’s as long as he stays in shape. Until then, Barcelona have a job in La Liga and will need his help.
Ansu cuts a low-key character, much like Messi. He also arrived in Spain as a young, six-year-old, representing Sevilla at youth level before Barcelona took notice. The absence of the day’s squad took a heavy toll on the player, whose career was in full swing before it all came to an end. Like a child he wants like to play again, an internal interview revealed. This is the right approach, you can feel it.