Lionel Messi made a forecast for FC Barcelona in 2019 that turned out to be correct.
In August of last year, things were simpler and happier. Sure, the Blaugrana were still stinging from their 4-0 loss to eventual champions Liverpool in the Champions League semi-final second leg at Anfield.
But this was a time when winning La Liga was the bare need, and Barcelona could always aim for the stars when it came to Europe’s most prestigious club trophy.
After playing Arsenal in the Joan Gamper Trophy, which kicks off the new season every summer, Messi stated that the previous season had “ended with a bitter taste.”
“But we have to give value to La Liga, the eighth we have won in 11 years. That’s important and maybe we don’t give enough value to what we have done,” he added.
“But in a few years we will realise how difficult it was.”
It is now chilling how accurate that premonition has proven to be.
Since then, Barca has never advanced beyond the quarter-finals on the continent – they were beaten 8-2 by Bayern Munich in Lisbon in 2020 and then 4-2 on aggregate by Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League last week despite being outmanned in their stadium – and has never been crowned Spanish champion.
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