Barcelona finished the home portion of the 2022-23 season in style, dominating Mallorca and winning 3-0 on the last ever match at the current Camp Nou. Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba had a chance to say goodbye to the home fans, and it was a truly glorious night for the La Liga champions.
Here are the winners from Sunday’s festivities. Yes, there are no losers this time.
Ansu Fati: The Prince played his best game of the season for Barça, and with his future very much in question he offered an important reminder of his talent level and what he can become if given consistent opportunities now that he once again looks healthy. Maybe one performance against 10 men isn’t enough to convince Xavi Hernández and a summer offer might be too good to turn down given the club’s financial situation, but it’s always good to see Ansu playing well and having a smile on his face. I for one hope he stays, shines in preseason and proves he’s good enough. The tools are clearly there.
Robert Lewandowski: Even though he didn’t score, and you could tell that really wanted to find the back of the net on the Camp Nou farewell match, this was one of the strongest overall displays for Lewandowski all season. His finishing might not have been at its best, but everything else was, even some parts of the game that he struggled with for most of the post-World Cup stretch. His link-up play was fantastic, his passing vision and positional awareness was on point, and he opened up plenty of spaces inside a tight Osasuna defense (even with 10 men) with his movement despite not always getting the ball. An encouraging sign ahead of next season for one of the world’s best strikers.
Ousmane Dembélé: When Ous is ON, he makes defenders rethink their career choices after dealing with him for 90 minutes. His dribbling, his lightning-quick change of direction, his pinpoint crossing and passing were all on display in this one, and he deserved a goal for the quality of his overall performance. Dembélé will extend his contract in the summer and remain a crucial part of the team, and games like this one once again prove that very few human beings on this planet can do what he can. If you keep him healthy and have a good system around him, Dembélé will continue to shine for Barça.
Gavi: The 18-year-old scored the last goal in the history of the current Camp Nou, and what a goal it was. It was also the cherry on top of a wonderful season for one of the most talented young players in the world, who continues to improve in every aspect and is already a key contributor to one of the biggest clubs in football despite his age. Sometimes it can be frustrating to watch Gavi lose his temper and use his competitive edge to his own detriment, but when he’s fully concentrated on just playing the game, like he did on Sunday, his talent shines bright. His ability to shift between different roles and adapt to whatever is asked of him is a rare skill, and if there are no dramas with his registration this summer, Barça fans can enjoy watching him develop into a great player in the next few years.
Sergio Busquets & Jordi Alba: This is just an excuse to once again pay tribute to two of the greatest players to ever represent this great club. Barça fans can be brutal to their own legends sometimes, but even Busi and Alba’s biggest haters had no choice but to acknowledge their greatness and historical impact on the club and the game in the past few weeks. They will always be a (big) part of the winningest era in Barça’s history, and their unique styles made them even more enjoyable to watch. You will be missed, you are beloved, and you are forever Barça legends. Thank you, Busi. Thank you, Jordi.