The year of hope starts with an epic challenge

OPINION

@LluisMascaro

A year of hope begins. A year of recovery, change of cycle, resurrection. 2022 should be the year a new Barcelona is born. A Barca that can be competitive again. A Barca that can again be a footballing reference point, with national and international prestige. A Barca with style and values. A Barca that can truly aspire to be the champions of everything. And the pride of their fans and socios. That Cules around the world admire. And rivals fear.

If 2021 was the year of Barca’s women, winning the treble, of Alexia Putellas and Aitana Bonmati, 2022 has to be the year that Barcelona’s men are reborn. With Laporta leading the project in the offices and Xavi on the bench. WIth a young generation ready to make history. Players with talent and commitment. The future must be splendid. A future that starts tonight in Mallorca, with the handicap of all those out. There are up to 16 absences for Covid, injury or suspension. If the challenge was big anyway, it’s huge now. Epic. Winning would be a heroic dignity for Barcelona.

Xavi is right. The game should have been suspended. But the protocols are what they are. This time Barcelona have been hurt, with 10 players out with the virus (half a squad). But difficulties birth the biggest opportunity. And they have a chance tonight to revindicate themselves, to show their credentials and that 2022 can be a great year.

Xavi will have to work hard to get a team together, with the kids as the protagonists. And some veterans who will have the option of showing they are still capable of wearing the shirt. The objective, the only one, is to win. Three points to start Barcelona’s resurrection, or, rather, the birth of a new Barca. A better Barca. A Barca with their essence back. The mission is hard, very hard, but not impossible.

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