Barcelona : In front of more than 83,000 spectators, Robert Lewandowski, the team’s star acquisition, scored his first goal for the Catalan club and forged a strong connection with teenage playmaker Pedri González.
Barcelona surprised a lot of people by adding a number of well-known players during the offseason, even though they were having trouble paying their bills.
There were many questions and criticisms raised about the club’s strategies for bolstering its team, which mostly involved forgoing future revenue to bring in new players right away.
However, even the most worried Barcelona fans can’t hide their confidence regarding the team’s potential as the season gets underway next weekend.
The preseason, which concluded with a 6-0 thrashing of Mexican club Pumas at the Joan Camper event on Sunday, showed plenty of promise for the new additions.
In front of more than 83,000 spectators, Robert Lewandowski, the team’s star acquisition, scored his first goal for the Catalan club and forged a strong connection with teenage playmaker Pedri González. In addition, they witnessed the debuts of new defender Jules Koundé, new forward Raphinha, and returning forward Ousmane Dembélé, all of whom performed admirably. Barcelona won their preseason matches against Juventus, Inter Miami, the New York Red Bulls, and their rivals from Spain, Real Madrid.
Club president Joan Laporta said before Sunday’s game that the club would follow the fair play rules of the Spanish league and sign up all new players in time for the season.
He allayed worries that some players might have to be benched until the team could generate more income by stating, “We will be able to register all players.” Barcelona recently sold a 25% stake in its production hub for 100 million euros ($101.8 million) and nearly 670 million euros ($682.1 million) in Spanish league television rights for the next 25 years. It played its first game at the Camp Nou on Sunday. Its name was changed because of a deal with Spotify for sponsorship and naming rights.
In soccer, there is no waiting period and no off-season, Laporta told Spanish media. “We took the necessary steps to restore Barcelona’s reputation,” After a trophyless campaign in which Lionel Messi was absent for the first time in over two decades, the club went shopping and rapidly rose to the top spender in Europe during the summer.
Nearly 50 million euros ($50.9 million) was spent on Lewandowski’s transfer from Bayern Munich, while nearly 60 million euros ($61.1 million) went to Leeds United for Raphinha and nearly 50 million euros ($50.9 million) went to Sevilla for Koundé.
Along with signing teenage midfielder Franck Kessié and centre back Andreas Christensen, Barcelona also extended the contract of Dembélé, who had already demonstrated during the preseason that he would play a key role in Xavi Hernández’s assault. Talented youth Ansu Fati, Dutch international Memphis Depay, Danish international Martin Braithwaite, and Spanish international Ferran Torres are all part of the team’s offence. Gavi Páez and Pedri, who scored both of his goals against Pumas on assists from Lewandowski, are still present in the midfield.
On Monday, the sports daily Marca ran with the headline, “This Barça is dangerous.” The Sport newspaper ran with the headline, “Spectacular,” above a picture of Lewandowski.
When the team makes its league debut on Saturday against Rayo Vallecano, the Camp Nou is anticipated to be full once more. A strong showing would support Laporta’s argument that the club’s heavy spending would finally be justified.