Written by

Karine Grigoryan

23-08-2018 | 19:17 Football

Fc Barcelona: Quarter final curse

Fc Barcelona has been winning either Copa del Rey or the double (CdR + La Liga) past 3 years. 2017/18 La Liga winners has failed to win the Champions League 3 times in a row. Last time the club won the Champions League, was in 2015. The year when Catalan club became the first club to win the treble for the second time. First time Barcelona won treble was in 2008/09 during the Guardiola era. So what has made the Champions League harder for Barcelona ? Firstly it's their eternal rivals Real Madrid, who in fact, have been crowned the champions those past 3 years. This year Real is starting without their main star Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane, under whom the Madrid club made history by winning CL 3 times in a row. Real lost 4-2 to Atletico Madrid in the Supercup but had a promising beginning in La Liga by beating 2-0 Getafe. Secondly it's the tactical changes that Luis Enrique kept using and Ernesto Valverde is repeating the same mistakes. It was Enrique's first year at the club, when they made history just like Pep Guardiola. But Valverde couldn't have the same result as those two. Barcelona has won the champions league 5 times in the club's history. And as mentioned, since 2015 the club seems to be cursed.
In 2016, Barcelona reached the quarter finals but was knocked out by Atletico Madrid, who reached the final and lost to city rivals Real Madrid. That year, Catalans went on winning the domestic double. Next year Barcelona not only failed to go past quarter finals of Champions League but lost La Liga title to Real Madrid. That year is only remarkable for the comback Barcelona did against Paris Saint-Germain. In the round of 16, first leg, PSG scored 4 without conceding any against the Catalan club. It felt like it was over for Barcelona. But at the Camp Nou, they made impossible possible by making the greatest comeback of the Champions League. With the help of iconic trio Messi-Suarez-Neymar and the hero of the night, Sergi Roberto, Barcelona won 6-1 over PSG and qualified for the next round. But the quarter final curse was following them. Barça got knocked out by Juventus. Who reached the final and lost against Real Madrid.
Last year, Barcelona again reached the quarters. Their opponent was Roma. After winning 4-1 at Camp Nou, they lost 3-0 and eventually were knocked out. Once again. But this time the team to knock out Catalans, didn't reach the final. In 2018, Barcelona took back La Liga title and won Copa del Rey. This year Catalans are starting without their legend Iniesta. But, unlike last year, they have Coutinho available for the Champions League. Last year he joined Barcelona in January and was already included in Liverpool's squad, so, last season, he couldn't help the team. Except Coutinho, Barcelona has new arrivals, who also seem to have keys for the Champions League final. And as well as Dembele, who, last year, spent most of the time being injured. With the new arrivals, Valverde can go back to the traditional 4-3-3 formation, which was the main problem of the last season.

Dani Ceballos under Zidane VS Ceballos under Lopetegui. Statistics

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