How El Clasico exposed Barcelona's transfer failings
- El Clásico defeat has brutally exposed Barcelona's transfer failings and Messi alone can't save the club everytime
Going into the El Clásico, Barcelona and Real Madrid were the closest they had been in years, making this game all the more important. And the game didn't fail to live up to the hype as the youth of Real Madrid defeated a Barcelona side that can't seem to find the consistency they need to become the kings of football once again.
Instead, they seem to be heading in the wrong direction due to failed transfers and a lack of academy products, something that Barcelona used to be famous for.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, are heading in the best direction possible and towards success with a team built for the future, a future that we caught a glimpse of in the El Clásico when Vinicius Junior and Mariano ensured victory for Zinedine Zidane's side.
Vinicius Junior is slowly but surely becoming an important player for Madrid and at the age of just 19, the Brazilian will only get better under the guidance of Zidane. Junior isn't the only young talent in a talent-filled Madrid side. In fact, in the summer transfer window, Real Madrid purchased just two players above the age of 24 with the arrival of Eden Hazard and Alphonse Areola.
In contrast to this, Barcelona's transfer system hasn't been as methodical which has cost them a lot of time and money over the years. The current La Liga champions have spent over £150 million on players over the age of 25 in the last 3 years, players who have failed to perform to the levels expected.
Antoine Griezmann is a prime example of this. The 28-year-old cost Barcelona £108 million in the summer and has scored just 8 goals in 25 La Liga appearances. The Frenchman was brought in to form a deadly attacking trio with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, but the Barcelona squad has been forced to rely upon up the goals of Messi to carry the teams attacking force, something that they will be able to do less and less as the years go by. And Messi's retirement is something that Barcelona are yet to plan for with no real replacement lined up at this point in time from either the academy or an incoming transfer.
Adding to this, Barcelona used to be able to rely upon on their academy for stars of the next generation. However, nowadays, the only recognisable products of the famous La Masia academy is Sergi Roberto and more recently, Ansu Fati.
This will be a concern for Barcelona who have failed to produce top-class talent over the years. This highlights how the roles have reversed between Barcelona and Real Madrid. Barcelona have become the failed Galacticos whilst Real Madrid now produce young players built for future dominance.
To conclude, the El Clásico not only saw Real Madrid (56 points) go above Barcelona (55 points) in the race for the La Liga title but it also exposed the contrasting directions both clubs are currently heading.
Published 02 Mar 2020, 20:09 IST