Barcelona: The Club Teaching Others How Not to Handle Transfer Business

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Remember when Barcelona were the kings of football? The messiahs who never put a foot wrong; the be all and end all. Everyone wanted to be like them. But, boy will they be glad they’re not. Has there ever been such a fall from grace? From a high-end opera, filled the fine details and the most expensive Champaign and entertainment to a local circus with sprite that would probably power a lightbulb.

At first it was ironic, quite fun to watch. Now? Well, now it’s just baffling. Baffling just how terribly wrong the Catalan club get every single decision. Let’s just put this into a bit more context. Barcelona, in the last two years, bought Antoine Griezmann and parted with €120 million in the process, gave the still-very-much-capable-0f-20-goals-a-season Luis Suarez to Atletico Madrid, who propelled them to the title, and, to top things off, they decided to be kind enough to let Atletico have Griezmann back on an initial loan with an obligation to buy before replacing him with…31-year-old Luuk de Jong. One more thing, too. They’ve done all this and lost Lionel Messi in between.

Barcelona: The Club Teaching Others How Not to Handle Transfer Business

Atletico Strengthened; Barcelona Slowly Being Decimated

In truth, Antoine Griezmann’s exit comes a year too late. The damage of his initial stay on the wage bill and the block of incomings has been done. Yet, it must be said, under no circumstance should you sell a forward to your title rivals. Barcelona should know this. They sold Luis Suarez, one of the greatest strikers of his generation, to their title rivals, and, to no surprise, let the La Liga crown slip. So, what did they do after the first time? They did it again, even allowing Atletico the time to find the transfer fee for a year before the obligation to buy.

This isn’t just any player signing for Atletico Madrid, either. This is a former player, who attracted interest from Barcelona thanks to his performances under Diego Simeone; he was their main talisman; their tried and trusted forward, who many were frustrated to let go. Atletico basically loaned their star-man to the Nou Camp for two years, received €120 million, improved the squad with the likes of Suarez, won the title, and welcomed Griezmann back.

Josep Maria Bartomeu: The Ultimate Villain

It is like a scenario from a comedy sketch or an action film, where the main character goes through the ultimate downfall. But, unfortunately for those at the Catalan club, it is very much a reality.

In that action film, one man is the villain, former president Josep Maria Bartomeu, Barcelona’s Thanos, who clicked his fingers once to make La Liga balanced, as all things should be; who snapped to rid the Spanish giants of their hero, their Tony Stark, almost, in Lionel Messi. Except, the difference between the Endgame script and Barcelona’s reality is that the hero is not returning to save the day at the Nou Camp, he’s gone, swapping devastation for the romance of Paris. Thanos’ snap was not permanent. Bartomeu’s, by the looks of things, is.

Tasked with steering the sinking ship is Joan Laporta, having returned to the club’s presidential position. Of course, during his last reign, Barcelona still very much sat on the throne of football, sipping fine wine, and admiring Pep Guardiola’s side. He is the most successful president in the club’s history, winning silverware galore between 2003 and 2010. Now, however, he has returned with no Guardiola, no Messi, not much money, a mountain of debt and Martin Braithwaite leading the line. And that just about sums up where the club is at.

So, strap yourselves in Barcelona fans, it’s about to be a bumpy, downward ride away from the La Liga title once again.

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