Barcelona has been at the very top or, at least, among the top 5 clubs in the world at any given moment in the last 15 years. The renaissance at Blaugrana started with the signing of legendary Ronaldinho, which coincided with the coming of age of young Andrés Iniesta and the legendary Xavi Hernández moving to the position of central midfielder.
Having not one but three powerful engines in the team was just the beginning, as adding Lionel Messi, barely a 16-year old back in 2003, would make the team’s ascent to the stars look pretty much effortless.
The New Barcelona
Of the four maestros of the game, only Messi remains in Barcelona to this day. Having gained the status of the living legend a while ago, he is now the undisputed leader, and his team is once again where it belongs – on the top. Powered additionally by brutally efficient Luis Suárez, unpredictable and creative Philippe Coutinho and rock-solid Sergio Busquets, the team has managed to overtake Liverpool, Manchester City, and Real Madrid at the end of 2018.
Stats or Facts
Some might argue that statistics lie, but statistics are also the aggregate of facts, and facts about FC Barcelona place them on the top at the moment.
At the moment, they are the second most efficient team in all of the top five leagues of Europe, counting both La Liga and the Champions League matches. Truth be told, they also conceded 24 goals, almost twice as many as Liverpool (13) or Manchester City (15), but playing granite defence was never a part of Barcelona’s style anyway.
Neck and Neck Race vs. Manchester City
In almost every other aspect, it really comes down to Barcelona vs. Manchester City, and the Catalans lead by a thread. The third contender, of course, would be Real Madrid, having won three consecutive Champions League titles. A rather slow start of the 2018/2019 season they’ve had so far has eliminated them from the competition for now, but those with more experience know that one should never write off the Royal Club.
Both teams are the ruling champions of their respective leagues. FC Barcelona is the winner of the Spanish Super Cup, and Manchester City won the Community Shield. Neither of the teams did well in the previous edition of the Champions League, as both were eliminated in the quarter-finals. City lost to Liverpool in a one-sided clash, and Barcelona was surprisingly eliminated by Roma – after winning the first match 4-1, they lost 3-0 in the second match.
It would seem that the two things giving Barcelona decisive advantage would be the fact that they also own the Copa del Rey title, and possibly their somewhat better statistics from the first half of the year.
Can Barça be Dethroned Before the NYE
There are still three match days remaining in the Premier League until the end of the year and only two in La Liga. So, can Barça be dethroned? It really comes down to pure stats, but if both teams win all the games, the flip shouldn’t happen.