La Liga 2018-19: 4 things FC Barcelona fans should be excited for this season
Last season was a record-breaking one in La Liga for the Spanish Champions FC Barcelona, yet strangely enough, unconvincing for the Blaugrana fans. Despite losing only three matches in the entire campaign, they were judged ultimately by the three defeats near the end, trivializing all the credit which was well-deserved otherwise.
One of those resounding defeats was the infamous meltdown at the Stadio Olimpico in the UEFA Champions League, which saw them crash out of the competition in the quarter-finals. The other two came in the Copa Del Rey and La Liga respectively.
Although the Copa defeat was vindicated just after a week following the return leg win at home that saw them go through in the competition and eventually lift the cup, the La Liga defeat, away to Levante, was a catastrophe no one saw coming.
In the end, the Catalans completed a domestic double which, although historic, wasn't the unbeatable campaign everyone had hoped for, especially following their UCL exit.
With just a few weeks left before the league campaign kicks off, here are 4 things every Barça fan should be excited for.
#1 Second Coming of Eric Abidal
Considering how Robert Fernandez's 'Project 22' did not turn out as expected -- with the sole exception of Samuel Umtiti, many failed transfers piled up like deadwood at the club, and General Manager Pep Segura ultimately opted to let him go and bring in the fan favorite Eric Abidal.
As the club was dealing with the cringeworthy 'La Decision' episode of Antoine Griezmann after months of reported interest, Abidal's appointment came as a welcome change, one that many fans believed was desperately needed, especially after a string of ridiculous transfer debacles.
The legendary left-back, who lifted the UCL trophy in London, back in 2012, can be considered as the first official signing of the summer. He was brought in as the technical secretary with Ramon Planes being named his assistant. Earlier, Planes was working as a technical secretary for another Spanish club Getafe. He has also worked with English club Tottenham Hotspur and several other Spanish clubs as well. But, to be honest, the spotlight is on ex-defender Abidal, who has raised expectations among the Cules since his arrival. The 38-year-old has vowed to bring back the fighting spirit, which helped him battle cancer during his time at the club.
The Frenchman was mainly brought in for his knowledge of the transfer market, and his ties in the French market. It will be really interesting to see how Abidal balances expectations with the market reality. Having known the club from inside out and having been a part of one of the best Barça teams ever, he is faced with the daunting task of fulfilling the expectations of a club, which are seemingly insatiable.
The Blaugrana legend has a lot to take care of from day one: Facilitating new signings, offloading surplus players, sorting out loan transfers, and more importantly, La Masia academy. He will be seriously judged on how the young talent will turn out for the main squad in the coming years.
After all the grumblings and building frustration, among the supporters, about the club academy losing its identity, Abidal might just be the man Barça fans need at the moment.