5 Problems Barcelona Needs to Fix Right Now

Up until recently, Barcelona was a force to be reckoned with in the world of football. Great players have always been in and out of the Catalonian club which proves their rich history.

In the 2000s and 2010s, Barcelona enjoyed its most successful period in history, winning 4 Champions League, completing a historic sextuple, and breaking records along the way. However, it seems this fairy tale is coming to an end.

Some of their greatest players reached the retirement age while others moved on to different clubs. Barcelona has since become a shadow of its former self, getting thrashed in the Champions League on several occasions, with the most recent being the 8-2 beating by Bayern Munich in the semi finals of the 2020 Champions League.

But it's not all the players' fault. This has happened due to poor club and player management. Barcelona has not addressed their player shortage and they have been filling those voids with below average players or profiles that don't fit their philosophy or playing style.

Even though they have been spending heavily, they have no prominent result to support their strategy. In fact, it has taken an adverse effect where Barcelona is crippling under a huge debt. And we haven't even touched upon the corruption allegations within the club.

But not all is lost. If Barcelona can fix these 5 things, it can return to its glory days.

5) Wingback Shortage

Jordi Alba and Dani Alves were a solid wingback pair through the years for Barcelona, adding variation and width to their attack while keeping up their defensive duties.

Years have passed and Barcelona is yet to find a good replacement for Dani Alves. The newcomer Sergino Dest is a talented youngster but he will definitely have his rough patches and is chosen to play because of wingback shortages.

Although Nelson Semedo wasn't a consistent player, he had time on his contract and a lot of years to play with decent enough skill to rattle attacks and defense on his day. However, Barcelona were quick to offload the 25-year old wingback.

One wing hasn't been sorted while the next one is demanding change. Jordi Alba, a decorated Barcelona hero and veteran is nearing the end of his career. EIther he will move on or retire in a year or two as he is already in his mid 30s and won't be able to deliver exhilarating performances week after week. Jose Gaya has been touted as his immediate replacement with the 25 year old having a good run of 10 years playing in La Liga, but the deal is yet to be done.

Barcelona soon needs to find a solution for this problem, otherwise even with the best player in the world, they won't achieve anything as we have seen in the past few years.

4) Aging Centre Backs and Lack of Depth

Since Carles Puyol left, Pique has not been his best self. Although they did win a treble after him, it was all due to the brilliant attracting trio of Messi, Suarez, and Neymar.

Even in the infamous comeback against PSG, it was quite prominent that this squad's defense quality is not that of an elite club and has only gotten worse with time.

Now Gerard Pique is completely off form and other defensive pairing don't perform well either. Barcelona seems lost in their search for good defenders.

Umtiti was a great hit but his success was very short lived as the WC winner hasn't found his form or fitness to get back to his best.

Other options are also very unreliable as they are injury prone. Barcelona's management seriously needs to work on their defense to give support to their team up front and not the other way around.

3) Wingers Not Up to The Task

Barcelona had always had great wing players in their squad. Leo Messi was the world's best right winger but with advancing age, he cannot uphold the wing position in every match and needs support.

Ousmane Dembele and Ansu Fati are the only two proper wingers, and all others are just filling the position as we have seen with Coutinho which didn't work out so well.

While the wingers have quality, both lack experience. Ousmane Dembele has been having fitness problems ever since he joined Barcelona and with the hefty price tag he came with, it has been a financial burden on the club. Serious thought needs to be given to these key positions if they want to succeed in the future.

2) Messi-pendency

Messi is the biggest icon of the club who has been the centre point of all the glory Barcelona has achieved in the past two decades.

But nearing the age of 34 years, he's not getting any younger. Despite that, he still has to carry Barcelona and the expectations of its fans on his shoulders. Around 70% of the goals in the past few seasons have been scored or assisted by Messi, which gets to show how much the team depends on him.

Although he does have 3-4 years to play elite level football, Barcelona needs to start building for the future. But judging from the horrible decisions the club has made in replacing the likes of Xavi and Iniesta, they seem to be going in the wrong direction.

1) Over A Billion Euro Debt

The biggest problem that Barcelona faces today is not on the pitch, but off it.

Money makes the world move and Barcelona does not have enough of it at the moment to better their future.

The huge financial losses in the previous years due to mismanagement, paying excessive price tags for average talent to warm up the benches, and corruption has led to Barcelona's demise on and off the field.

As things stand, FC Barcelona is liable to pay 1.173 Billion Euros, the breakdown of which is as follows:
  • a short-term debt of 720 million Euros
  • amortisation of 186 million Euros
  • loss of 488 million Euros in 2019-20
  • many transfer fees of players like Arturo Vidal and Cuco Currella still to be paid
Not to forget, Barcelona needs to raise 200 million Euros immediately for this season for repayment with an already 600 million Euros negative working capital and 74% of budget allocated for players salaries is to be accounted for.

Marca described their situation as a bottomless pit. It's like a black whole has opened up in FC Barcelona treasury as their awful decisions and corruption by board members is coming back to haunt them.

Until they fix their financials, they can't fix the other four factors quickly. If things stay the same, Barcelona may soon become a shell of its former self.