Contact Us
Top banner desktop

The Away Fixtures: A curse for Barcelona

When the referee blew the whistle at the end of stoppage time at Anfield, Lionel Messi was left with his heart and dream both equally shattered as he slowly trudged off the pitch.

Last updated: 10.05.2019
The Away Fixtures: A curse for Barcelona | Sports Social Blog

Get 100% Deposit Bonus on Bilbet

Exclusive bonuses and freebets available in IPL 2024. Turn your Cricket Knowledge into Money!

When the referee blew the whistle at the end of stoppage time at Anfield, Lionel Messi was left with his heart and dream both equally shattered as he slowly trudged off the pitch. Liverpool players, in the meanwhile, were yet finding it hard to accept the fact that they had trounced the Catalans in a scintillating fashion and with a performance that will be remembered as one of the greatest in the Champions League history.

And yet again, the footballing fraternity has been left to brood upon whether Barcelona are the subject of a curse to the knockout rounds of competitions. However, since La Blaugrana have clinched the Copa del Rey title since 2015, the problem remains constrained only to the Champions League.

Prior to this season, Barcelona were in the spotlight as they attempted to break their quarter-final curse that had lasted since 2015-16 season. Manchester United hardly offered them any real problems as the Catalans emerged victorious – also being the top contenders for the title making their way into the semis. However, the old ghosts came to haunt them back yet again as they succumbed to a 4-0 drubbing at Anfield in the second leg, having gained a 3-0 advantage at home. The clash also took us back to the 3-0 loss they suffered at the hands of AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico, bowing out of the competition because of no away goals in a 4-4 aggregate scoreline. To delve deeper, the Catalans suffered yet another 3-0 defeat, this time at the hands of Juventus in Turin. That proved to be the aggregate scoreline as they churned out a stalemate against the Old Lady at home in the quarter-final second leg.


All this woeful past is bound to force any football fan, not only a die-hard Cule, into thinking what exactly is the basis of the problem. Barcelona are blessed with one of the greatest teams the generation, with the crowned jewel in the juggernaut being someone labeled as the Greatest of All Time week in week out. Why then, has the Champions League title eluded the Nou Camp foe the last four years?

Is Lionel Messi the sole reason for the problem? Well, the Barcelona talisman has often seen fingers being pointed at him for disappearing in big games – games when Barcelona need him the most. While the diminutive Argentinian accounts for considerable blame, he isn't solely the reason for the club's woes. Messidependencia also has a crucial part to play in Barcelona's troubles.

None of the attacking personnel have really been able to influence a Champions League knockout night when Lionel Messi is off-colour. Be it Neymar, or Suarez, or Dembele – none of the mentioned trio have been able to come to the fore and deliver when their saviour has had a miserable night. It's a testament to how Messi improves everyone around himself when he is unstoppable. But, being the talisman comes with a price; Messi has been guillotined more often than not for Barca's losses in the knockout rounds, given the bucket load of expectations he shares, in contrast to any other player at the Nou Camp.

A shoddy display of defence against Juventus and Roma and Liverpool is the crucial thing that needs to be talked about. While Messi is made the scapegoat for every loss, people need to know that the defenders have failed in their duties to protect a good advantage which has been the result of the masterclass of their legendary hitman.

All in all, the entire team needs to be blamed for the results, not just Lionel Messi. There definitely oodles of quality in the dressing room, but a lack of concentration and desire is why Barcelona have crashed out of the competition yet again.

The large dependence on Messi to carve out a way in every single time of need may hurt Barcelona in the long-term. The club's recent struggles when their skipper fails to deliver are just mirroring what Nou Camp may suffer through on a consistent basis when their no.10 hangs up his boots.

Barcelona have two options to brood upon – Be more independent of Lionel Messi or prepare for a tough afterlife when he waves his last goodbye. Pretty much, they know the right answer.

Top banner desktop

Chase Your Sport

Stay up-to-date on the latest sports news, stats, expert analysis and trends, including cricket, football, wrestling, tennis, basketball, Formula One and more. Find previews, schedules, results of upcoming events, and fantasy tips on Chase Your Sport.