Barcelona have gone from footballing superpower to international laughing stock in an alarmingly short space of time, but the seeds of their demise were sown by many years of poor management. The salary restriction imposed on them by La Liga has forced them to cut costs drastically, but they were a response to the enormous debts racked up by the club, which left them vulnerable when Covid-19 hit European football hard.
The first Clasico of the season may not have quite the usual appeal due to the relative struggles of both teams but it remains a fixture which attracts global interest. It has been a tough season so far for Barca after the departure of Lionel Messi and defeat on Sunday would be a further setback for under-fire boss Ronald Koeman.
The ‘big five’ European leagues have released their schedules for the 2021-22 season so we have analysed the fixture difficulty for them all. While every team has to play everyone else at some point, timing can be everything. A tough start can easily undermine a positive pre-season, while a gentle run of opening fixtures can provide the momentum necessary for a successful campaign.
With Euro 2020 now over, attention is shifting to the upcoming domestic football season but the competition’s impact may be felt here as well. Until the first ball of a new campaign is kicked, the attention of fans tends to be fixated on the transfer market, where the Euro 2020 stars will have drawn the attention of the game’s big spenders.
With Euro 2020 now over, attention will switch to the new domestic season and we’re tracking the latest Harry Kane transfer news to see which teams could make a move. The England captain enjoyed another impressive tournament as his four goals helped the team go agonisingly close to winning the Euros, with Kane threatening to repeat his Golden Boot success at the 2018 World Cup.