Last season was Barcelona’s worst finish to a La Liga campaign since 2008. Ronald Koeman’s side finished third behind Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, respectively. It’s also the first time in 13 years that the Catalan club have gone two years without the title in Spain. Barca fans will be hoping their side can get their hands on the La Liga crown once again at the end of the 2021/22 campaign, here’s a look at their chances of glory.
Messi’s New Contract Is A Boost
For a brief period this summer, Lionel Messi was a free agent and no longer contracted to Barcelona. The Barca legend has now agreed to a new five-year contract to remain at the Camp Nou. Unsurprisingly, on the back of the new contract news, Barcelona are the 6/4 joint-favorites in the football betting odds for La Liga. This is perhaps because Messi has been an integral and consistent part of Barcelona’s success since 2004. Despite being 34 years old, he is showing no signs of slowing down. The Argentine scored 38 goals in all competitions last season. 30 of those came in La Liga where he was the top scorer for the fifth straight year.
It’s evident that the six-time Ballon d’Or winner remains motivated to win big trophies. He has agreed to remain with Barcelona as he believes the club can still do that. Messi will be giving everything he can this season to try and secure the title once again.
New Arrivals Bring Quality
Barcelona have been very active in the summer to bring in some new players. Their three big signings have come in as free agents. Sergio Aguero arrives from Manchester City and is sure to score lots of goals in Spain. Eric Garcia, a player Barcelona have been desperate to sign for some time, also joins from the Premier League champions. He will bring competition for places at the back. The 20-year-old central defender is highly regarded at the club. Arguably the marquee signing has been that of Memphis Depay. The Dutchman scored 22 goals for Lyon last season, is a player who will bring some flair to the squad, and is excellent from set-pieces.
Up-and-coming Players Can Shine Next Season
Pedri and Ansu Fati played a big role in the squad last season, particularly the former who featured in 37 La Liga games. Those two players have lots of experience under their belt now and can really shine in Koeman’s team. We saw during Euro 2020 how good a player Pedri truly is. He stood out for his national team and, at the age of 18, he’s only going to continue to develop. The only concern is the limited rest the player has had over the summer as he also represented Spain at the Olympics: Pedri has endured an extremely busy and fatiguing 12 months stint. For so long, Messi has had to carry the Barcelona team. With the help of Pedri, Fati, and other rising stars, that load can be shared, something which should see the teams’ results improve. Barcelona begin their La Liga campaign against Real Sociedad on the 15th of August.