Barcelona is one of the most successful clubs in Spain and Europe. They are second in the UEFA club coefficient ranking, just behind fellow Spanish side, Real Madrid, and rightly so – they’ve won the UEFA Champions League on five separate occasions, La Liga 26 times, and the Copa del Rey in 30 seasons.
Last season, Real Madrid were nowhere to be seen, finishing third in La Liga, 11 points behind Barcelona. Some have said this made it easy for the Catalan side to take the number 1 spot, but with just 3 losses all season, Barcelona deserved the title.
They couldn’t replicate this success anywhere else, however. They were knocked out of the Champions League in the semi finals by Liverpool, who came back from 3-0 down on aggregate to win 4-3 in the second leg.
They also managed to get to the final of the Copa del Rey, but were beaten 2-1 by Valencia.
What about 2019/20? Can Barcelona add more to their trophy cabinet at the end of the season?
Supercopa de España & Copa del Rey
Barcelona were knocked out by Atletico Madrid 3-2 in the first round of the competition in early January. Leaving one less opportunity for silverware this season. The chance to win the Copa del Rey was also lost a month later, after Athletic Bilbao beat them 1-0.
This leaves just the Champions League and La Liga.
While last season’s La Liga was a walk over for Barcelona, 2019/20 isn’t shaping up that way.
Barcelona have managed one more win than Real Madrid, but their rivals have been more consistent, losing just one game, and managing 8 draws to Barcelona’s 4. This has helped Madrid scrape one more point, with 24 games played.
With just a point separating them, Real Madrid are the favourites to win La Liga this season, with major oddsmakers like Marathonbet giving them odds of 1.80 compared to Barcelona with odds of 2.00. That said, with 14 games left to play, there is still a lot that can change before the end of the season.
With the two sides having already played against each other twice, there’s no more opportunity for them to get ahead that way. Instead, the winner of La Liga will come down to whichever side can side hold it together for the rest of the season.
While Barcelona have a great side, Real have been more consistent, and players like Eden Hazard have been on fire. It’s not going to be easy to pick up silverware here.
Real Madrid have more Champions League titles than any other side, but Barcelona have better odds this season. Barcelona have drawn Napoli in the round of 16, giving them an easy path into the quarter finals.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid will take on Manchester City, a side that is hungry to get its first European win that has been on form for several years.
Barcelona are looking like a strong contender, but since the teams will be reseeded again for the quarter finals, there’s no way to predict who they will come up against in the next round. Champions League silverware is definitely a possibility, but there’s a long way to go still.
“Won’t Win Anything This Year”
Former Barcelona player Luis Suarez (the 84 year old former Spanish player, not the 32 year old Uruguayan player) recently commented that this season’s Barcelona team won’t win anything.
The Spaniard knows a thing or two about winning. He won two La Liga and two Copa del Rey titles with Barcelona in the 1950s and 1960s; but believes the current squad are not aggressive and he doesn’t feel their hearts are in it.
With two trophies on the line, Barcelona were dealt a blow when Ousmane Dembele was ruled out of playing for six months due to an injury. However, a little known La Liga rule has allowed the club to sign Martin Braithwaite from Laganes for €18 million.
The rules prevent him from playing in UEFA competitions though, so Barcelona’s striking force has been upgraded for La Liga, but they will be a man down for the Champions League. This could be what sees them get knocked out of the tournament before the final.
Two trophies are in Barcelona’s grasp, but they’re fighting an uphill battle to secure them.