Catalonia was in panic mode this past month, as the shock departure of Neymar to PSG dealt a debilitating blow to a Barcelona squad that already wasn’t running at peak efficiency.
With a flawless start to La Liga play, however, and especially after today’s 3-0 takedown of fellow European giants Juventus, Barcelona have reminded everyone that they’re not only capable of transcendent soccer, but they continue to stand tall at the highest heights of the sport.
Read more While Madrid look to be improving on the backs of up-and-coming stars like Isco and Marco Asensio and Casemiro and Mateo Kovačić and Dani Cavajal and Raphaël Varane (all 25 years old or younger), Barca’s core is still built around the steadily declining figures of those vintage squads that made up possibly the greatest team in history.
Andrés Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Piqué, and even Lionel Messi are closer to the ends of their primes than the beginnings, and with Messi’s assumed heir, Neymar, leaving town against the club’s wishes, for the first time in this generation of unrivaled success the club had to seriously reckon with its own mortality.
Having Messi means Barça will always have a chance to win everything, and they’ve demonstrated as much this year by running out to an early lead atop the League table and, most impressively, by smashing up on Juve today.
- Messi Finally Conquers Buffon as Barcelona Beats Juve 3-0U.S. News & World Report
- Magical Messi leads Barca rout of JuventusReuters
- Champions League Matchday 1: PSG Rolls Behind Star Trio; Messi Beats Buffon TwiceSports Illustrated
- Champions League: Barcelona vs. JuventusNewsday
- Lionel Messi scores twice as Barcelona dominates JuventusSB Nation
- Barcelona 3 Juventus 0: Lionel Messi scores first goals against Gigi Buffon in ...Telegraph.co.uk
- Champions League review: Easy for Barca and BayernRTE.ie
- Big wins in Champions LeagueRadio New Zealand
- Messi the star again as Barca beat JuventusXinhua