Barcelona’s dominance in Spain in the past decade has left Cules hungry for more. Having won 8 La Liga titles and 6 Copa del Rey trophies in the past 11 years, the Champions League remains the highest priority for the fans.
Lionel Messi, who was promoted to be the first team captain after the departure of Andres Iniesta back in the summer, promised the fans that he would do everything to bring the European Cup back to Camp Nou.
However, another embarrassment in Europe hasn’t helped the Catalan club’s cause. Last year it was AS Roma who overturned a 4-1 deficit from the first leg, this time, Liverpool played the Spanish giants out of the park in a 4-0 (aggregate 4-3) triumph at Anfield.
Ernesto Valverde and co. are yet to play in the Copa del Rey final against Valencia, but irrespective of the result many have deemed this season a failure, which is far from the truth.
A season where Barcelona lifted their 26th La Liga title, and are very well on their way to their second domestic double (which might have been a treble) in two years should be seen as a success. One-off night cannot decide the course of a whole season.
Let’s take a look at the three players who shone the brightest in the Blaugrana colours.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen
The German has been a wall between the posts for the Catalan club. The 27-year-old comfortable nature with the ball at his feet, his distribution, and calmness in 1v1 situations means he is easily among the top 3 goalkeepers in the world right now.
Ter Stegen goalkeeper kept 23 clean sheets in 49 appearances across all competitions. The £12m fee for the custodian seems like the bargain at the moment.
Pique has aged like a fine wine. The Spanish defender called curtains on his time with the national team after the FIFA World Cup in Russia, and has played one of his best seasons in Blaugrana colours.
The 32-year-old kept 23 clean sheets in his 50 appearances across all competitions. Offensively, Pique was a handful in the final third having 11 goal contributions netting on 7 different occasions.
The statistics don’t do justice to his on-field performances where he has been a wall for Barcelona for over a decade now. His dribble across the goal, shielding the ball from Karim Benzema at Santiago Bernabeu was one of his many highlights in the 2018/19 campaign.
Arguably the best player to ever grace a football pitch, Lionel Messi is enjoying another one of his extra-terrestrial seasons. Barcelona’s captain tops the chart for most statistics throughout a football season, La Liga top scorer, UEFA Champions League top scorer and the list is endless. He finished the season with 34 La Liga goals.
There are no words to define the genius of the little man from Argentina. The things he does on a football pitch can’t be expressed in words and there is no list out there where the 31-year-old doesn’t stay at the top, probably the Ballon d’Or where he finished fifth last season after another one of his mercurial seasons.
The little magician’s freekick against Liverpool from 30 yards out in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal was one of the many magical moments Messi produced over the course of the season.