5 Reasons why Barcelona may not win the UEFA Champions League 2018-19
The past three Champions League seasons have ended in despair for Barcelona as they were eliminated from the quarterfinals stage for three times on the trot. After winning the coveted European title for the fifth time in 2015, the Catalan club has failed to impress at the grand European stage.
When Argentine talisman Lionel Messi was appointed as the new captain of Barcelona this season he made it clear that winning the Champions League was the club's topmost priority.
Barcelona were drawn in Group B with Tottenham Hotspur, Inter Milan and PSV Eindhoven and were able to win the group without any real difficulty. However, the Catalan club has never really suffered in the group stages as even in the past three seasons Barcelona looked like title contenders till December.
It's the knockout stages where the club stumbles and we shall now take a look at 5 reasons why this season won't be any different for Blaugrana.
#5 Domestic Commitments
Barcelona have been an unstoppable force in domestic competitions for the past decade as they have won 7 LaLiga titles and are currently four-time reigning champions of the Copa del Rey. It can be said that this domestic supremacy has come at a cost as the club's European aspirations have suffered.
Barcelona had an unassailable lead on the points table last season when they won the league title by a 14 point difference between them and second-placed Atletico de Madrid. However, this solid position in the league was not exploited to ensure European success as Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde continued to field the first team in the league matches and failed to provide ample rest to the players for European fixtures.
This surely took a toll on the players and was evident in their performance away from home against AS Roma in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinals.
Barcelona currently sits on top of the league table but only have a five-point advantage over second-placed Atletico Madrid which means that when the season gets to the business end during the months of April and May, Valverde will have to make a choice and prioritize one competition over the other.