Why Barcelona will win the UEFA Champions League this season
That was reasonable, given that they were thrashed by their arch-rivals 5-1 over both legs and lost the trophy. Even their players including the outspoken Gerard Pique agreed that their game was inferior in the clash.
Therefore many critics argued that Barcelona’s golden age was all over and they would not compete for any trophy including the UEFA Champions League this season, so they instead tipped Real Madrid to dominate.
Fortunately, after few weeks into the season, things did not go the way of their critics. Rather, Barcelona hit their top form and have performed better than any other team in La Liga.
They sit comfortably on top of the table with seven points ahead of their arch rival. Their best performance so far was in the Champions League where they thrashed Juventus 3-0, with Lionel Messi in the heart of the matter.
It should be noted that this is the competition that many people have counted them out of. But with what we have seen so far, Barcelona could win even the Champions League and below are the reasons why:
Lionel Messi is in top form
Lionel Messi is perhaps back to his best form under Ernesto Valverde. This is good news for the Barcelona fans considering the heavy contributions of their hero to the club in recent years.
He has scored 11 goals in total this season, with 9 of them coming in La Liga while the other 2 are crucial goals against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League at Camp Nou. With Lionel Messi in such form, nothing is impossible and he is going to be very instrumental in their Champions League campaign as usual.
After the departure of Luis Enrique, the loss of Neymar in an unsuccessful transfer window, the clasico defeats and the board crisis, it was pretty clear that Barcelona was unsettled. However, it is surprising how they quickly overcame their nightmare and turned things around.
Special thanks to their new manager, Ernesto Valverde, for quickly influencing the team to a rapid turn-around. With the manager in charge, Barcelona has maintained 100% win records in both La Liga and the Champions League this season, something that will shock many.
He has also gotten the best out of many players including Lionel Messi, Ivan Rakitic, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets. It is important to note that the squad is really impressing especially with the 3-0 humiliation of Juventus at Camp Nou.
The new signings are also adapting, Paulinho, Semedo and Dembele are becoming important members of the team. If the team continues to improve this way, the future is clear.
The rotation system
If you ask many people why Barcelona failed in their recent Champions League campaigns, they will tell you that it was due to fatigue and lack of a reliable bench in the team. That is true because Barcelona’s bench in recent years has been inactive.
However, this season, Ernesto Valverde has adopted an adequate rotation system that allows everyone to have playing time and rest for the first-team players. This will ensure they have depth and be able to rest key players like Messi, Iniesta, Pique, Busquets and Alba for crucial matches.
Barcelona's incredible Champions League record
Barcelona is one of the few clubs that have dominated Europe in the Champions League with 5 trophies. And, if you calculate their impressive Champions League record you will discover that since 2006, Barcelona have lifted the Champions League more than any team.
Note: Since 2006, Barca have not gone 4 years without winning the UEFA Champions League.