And what happened next? Were there Bulls without Jordan? Was there Napoli without Maradona? Were there Saints without Pelé? Will there be Barcelona without Messi? Yes, there were. And yes, there is Barcelona without Messi. The question is whether it can continue to shine without its biggest, most phosphorescent and talented star. The Bulls have not won an NBA title again after Jordan’s departure. Napoli maintains the only two scudettos that he conquered with Maradona. It took Santos 28 years to win the Brasileirao again after Pelé.
The Spanish team has been wanting to pull the Orejona’s ears for six seasons. The highest European trophy eludes him. His last Champions League title was in 2014-15 when he beat Juventus 3-1 in the final. Now without Messi, does Koeman’s team have less pressure and more chances to win?
If we are guided by what happened, not so long ago, with Real Madrid after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, the prediction is not very positive. With CR7, the merengue team won the Champions League in 2014, and achieved the three-time championship in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In all those titles, Cristiano was a figure. After leaving the club, there were no more Orejonas for Real Madrid. There were not even endings. In 2019 he said goodbye in the second round, in 2020 too, and last year he reached the semis where he was eliminated by the champion Chelsea.
Will the same happen to Barcelona? Or will Messi’s departure have a positive effect and the Catalans will go further without having the pressure to win with La Pulga in the team? The Barcelona group is not easy: it starts against Bayern Munich and will also have Benfica from Portugal and Dinamo Kiev from Ukraine.
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman used his press conference on Wednesday to read a previously drafted personal statement on the club’s plight before leaving without answering questions.
Koeman’s message was that the underperforming club was in a period of transition and the process required patience.
The Dutchman’s work has been the subject of much speculation following a slow start to the season at Barcelona, including a 3-0 loss at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, in which Koeman’s team missed to finish off, and a draw against Granada at the Camp Nou, which left the Catalan team eighth in LaLiga.