Barcelona’s Warning Alarm Rings Louder

Barcelona’s 2-3 defeat of Atletico Madrid in the semifinals of the Spanish League Cup on Friday at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, makes the wind blow even stronger, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde will be kicked out of his chair as a coach. The issue of the dismissal of Valverde began to emerge when El Barca were beaten by Liverpool in the Champions League semifinals last season.

In La Liga’s last weekend, Los Cules also only drew 2-2 against the bottom of the table, Espanyol. The star-studded team and Barcelona’s top ranking couldn’t even win against Espanyol, the most protruding team. The defeat at King Abdullah was really painful for Los Cules. Missing 0-1 first through a goal from Koke Resurreccion, Barcelona then reversed the situation through goals from Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi.

Within 10 minutes towards the end, Ange Correa and Alvaro Morata broke into the Barcelona goal. So that Barcelona defeated 2-3. And this resulted in hopes for Los Cules to reach the final and become the champion. Inevitably, his coach Ernesto Valverde mutually blamed the new format that was starting to be applied. In the new format that came into force in 2019-2020, four teams will compete with each other in the semifinals.

The four teams consisted of Copa Del Rey champions and runners-up and the first and second La Liga champions last season. It is understandable why Valverde cranky, the article which managed to advance to the final of the Spanish Super Cup 2019-2020 is none other than Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, two teams that are not champions of the Spanish League or the Copa Del Rey. Last season’s Copa Del Rey champion, Valencia were beaten by Real Madrid 1-3 in another semifinal, Thursday at dawn in the same place.

Moreover, Lionel Messi et al have more control of the ball (73 percent) and the opportunity to score is also almost double that of Atletico. Two goals in the final minutes that hurt the most! Thus, Spain carved out history. For the first time, no defending champions (both La Liga and Copa Del Rey) entered the final!

The new format with four teams is intended to further popularize Spanish football outside the European continent, especially in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia who became the organizer of this mini tournament was nervous. The reason is that as a political ally of the United States, they are worried that something will happen due to the warming relations between the US and Iran triggered by the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani on the orders of US President Donald Trump

“It’s a business too, this format is interesting, but in terms of sports I’m not sure,” Valverde said of the new format and was held in Saudi Arabia. And El Barca was finally a victim of the application of this new format. Barcelona failed to win. They have held the record for the most Spanish Super Cup champions, which is 13 times. They worry, his real enemy Real Madrid will approach or even break records. So far, Real Madrid has won the Spanish Super Cup 10 times.

In the opposite camp, Los Rojiblancos is actually on fire and stretched, like a human who just woke up early from a cold sleep last night. At the beginning of December last year, Atletico Madrid did lose twice in a row, but now they have won five in a row in all competitions. Their stretching will continue when they face Real Madrid in the final on Monday. Following the defeat of Atletico 2-3, Barcelona management has approached Xavi Hernandez to replace Valverde who will be fired.

Xavi is no stranger. While a Barcelona player (1998-2015), Xavi played brilliantly and gave Barcelona 25 trophies, including four Champions League titles and nine La Liga titles. The Spaniard spent his time as a player at Al Sadd’s club in Qatar hanging his shoes up after the 39-year-old left Barcelona in 2015. CEO Oscar Grau and Barcelona Sports Director Eric Abidal according to RAC 1, lobbied Hernandez in Qatar on Friday to talk to fill Barca’s coaching chair. The management is already hot because Barca arrested Atletico, but according to the news, Lionel Messi still wants to keep Valverde in Barcelona.


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