The 2017-2018 season for Barcelona fans was certainly a confusing one. At first it seemed hopeless, especially after the defeat at the hands of Real Madrid in the Supercopa. Then an undefeated start to the season and a 3-0 thrashing of Juventus began to give Barcelona supporters some hope. Then the 3-0 battering of Real Madrid solidified an amazing start to the season…but all that winning would soon come to an end at the hands of Roma in the Champions League, easily the most difficult moment of the Barcelona campaign. Through the highs and lows this article will review the entire FC Barcelona season and talk about the triumphs, as well as the disappointments. Here we go…
One of the larger talking points of this season was certainly the squad turnover. While most of the integral pieces of the squad remained at the start (bar Neymar), Barcelona brought in several players with the ability to transform the squad. With the summer signings of Paulinho, Nelson Semedo, Ousmane Dembele, and the return of Gerard Deulofeu, the squad had a certain sense of freshness to it.
Obviously, no one player could replace the abilities of Neymar, but Barcelona certainly tried. By the time the January window had been and gone the board was also proud to show off two players who made all Barcelona fans jubilant. A vibrant Brazilian by the name of Philippe Coutinho who has the ability to transform games in an instant, and a young Colombian center-back Yerry Mina who has the aerial prowess of Carles Puyol and the ability to bring the ball up the pitch.
Clearly, some of the signings didn’t work out as expected, with Nelson Semedo playing sparingly, Paulinho fading towards the end of the season, and Dembele out injured for long spells. However, looking forward Barcelona has already started the process of building a younger squad and replacing legends such as Andres Iniesta.
Another huge talking point of the season is obvious; trophies. This season Barcelona finished with two, having run away with La Liga by February and demolishing Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final 5-0.
But that third trophy, the most important and dignified…the Champions League. As we all know, Real Madrid won their third straight European Cup against a Liverpool side without Mohamed Salah, and it stung a little more than usual this year. Up 4-1 on aggregate against a decent Roma side, Barcelona travelled to Rome and played their worst game of the season losing 3-0.
Up to that point, the season had been almost flawless, but on that fateful Wednesday night in Rome, everything sort of unraveled. The criticism surrounding Valverde’s pragmatic tactics came quickly and loudly: rightfully so. The gaffer had set up his Barcelona side to simply contain a 4-1 lead, not beat a clearly inferior Roma side. Partially due to this, Barcelona lost 3-0 and the season was instantly deemed a failure.
While we cannot call the season a complete failure, we also cannot call it a complete success. Winning La Liga and the Copa del Rey are notable achievements, but every player, manager, and fan knows that winning the Champions League is the ultimate honor in European football.
One of the last main talking points of the season proved bittersweet with the send-off of a legend and ultimate professional, Andres Iniesta. Since joining Barcelona’s academy, Iniesta has worked his way to the top and earned his first team spot despite his lack of size and speed.
Once in the first team, Iniesta enchanted the Camp Nou and football fans all over the world. Upon announcing his decision to retire from Barcelona and move unto a new challenge, the football world paid homage to a legend who deserved it. All Barcelona fans wish Iniesta the best of luck moving forward and are hoping that at some point in the future, he returns to the club in some sort of capacity.
Ultimately, the season was successful but left some things to be desired. Moving forward this summer the board must certainly look to enhance the squad. With Antoine Griezmann already strongly linked, hopefully Barcelona will be able to pull off some signings that allow it to topple Real Madrid in Europe, and bring the Champions League trophy back to where it belongs, Barcelona. Visca Barca