Let’s see. 2017 was the year of Real Madrid, but still, they end up on a sourer note than Barcelona. The Blancos might have won 5 trophies in 2017, but they ended it by being 14 points behind Barcelona in the league.
Meanwhile, Barca had a bad first half of the year. Losing out in the quarter-final of the Champions League, they also fell short in the league, despite winning at the Bernabeu some weeks prior. Nevertheless, they will be the happier bunch right now as here are the 4 things that we learned from the Catalans in 2017.
1. Even the Mighty Fall
Pep Guardiola’s team was something else entirely. They seemed almost unbeaten and actually were at that point as they won 6 trophies in the calendar year of 2009, but could manage only one this year—the damned King’s Cup.
2017’s first half was one to forget for the Catalans. Not only they fall in the sporting sense of it; they were ridiculed by a host of clubs for their pursuit of Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho. On top of that, they lost Neymar to PSG.
How the mighty fall.
2. And How They Rise Again
Never underestimate the mighty. The mighty might fall, but it is only a momentary one. It is like a moment in time; an ephemeral being in eternal space. For Barca, the first-half was one to forget. Their transfer market, too, wasn’t very pleasing.
After all, they had lost Neymar, and the player bought to replace him, Ousmane Dembele, has still not fully recovered from injury. And yet, they are leading the surge in La Liga. No-one expected it, with everyone believing that it is Madrid’s onset of dominance.
But you can never underestimate them because
3. Messi Is Still the Best
Lionel Andres Messi. This man is something else. He might not have the won Ballon d’Or this year, but it is one of those years where his team let him down more often than not. Barcelona are currently 14 points ahead of their eternal rivals—and Messi is the biggest reason for it.
The Argentine has scored 21 goals from 27 games and has given 7 assists all the while. Some of his contributions, too, can never be displayed via stats (look at Barca’s opening goal against Madrid in the last Clasico).
In short, Messi is still above the rest.
4. Everyone Moves On
Time is a healer—and Barcelona’s 2017 shows just that. After a terrible season, things became worse with the departure of Neymar to Paris-Saint Germain. This came as a shocker nigh-on-impossible as the Brazilian was always seen as the replacement for the Argentine.
But he left for the Qatari riches in Paris and became a star there. He is having a great time there, but so are Barcelona—who seem to have moved on perfectly. They finished the year on a high, with a 14-point lead above their eternal rivals and group-champions in the Champions League—something which Madrid themselves can’t boast.
Time heals, it does.