The best Barça and the worst Barça



Barça Femeni is the best team in the world. They won the treble last season and their captain, Alexia Putellas, won all the individual awards. And despite that success, the club sacked Lluis Cortes, the coach. Nobody understood it. But Jonathan Giraldez took the reins and they have kept up their performance level. They won their first trophy of the year yesterday, the Spanish Super Cup, with a 7-0 win over Atletico Madrid.

Their level is extraordinary. Graham Hansen hit a hat-trick. They are the perfect team. Working conscientiously, faithful to the model. Spectacular and effective, ambitious, committed. With the objective of marking an era. And then a nice tough, with the team throwing Virginia Torrecilla into the air with an image worth more than a trophy. Barcelona Femeni is an example. Barcelona’s male team would do well to follow it, to come out of their grave identity crisis.

They have got used to losing. That is the worst thing that can happen to a team that is obligated to win. The season is a disaster. Knocked out of the UCL, the Copa, the Spanish Super Cup and with no chance to win La Liga, where the only objective is to come at least fourth. With this desolate panorama, Xavi has to construct a champion team. A titanic task. He is trying. With all his might. But the squad is what it is. There are some green shoots but cruel reality is in charge. And they managed an essential victory against Alaves, but it was a huge struggle. Another horrible game. A Frenkie de Jong goal two minutes from the end gave them an agonising victory. But keep playing like this and they won’t win many more.



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