The implosion of FC Barcelona

It’s been coming for a while but it finally happened. FC Barcelona imploded a day after losing to Real Sociedad, and there may still be some surprises in the horizon. The team didn’t do its part in Anoeta, in the first game of the year, and after losing 1-0 to David Moyes’ men, the events have been unraveling in the following 24 hours until chaos has ensued in the Catalan club. Football director Andoni Zubizarreta has been fired, being finally and openly held responsible for the poor planning of the first team’s squad, the bad performances of some of the signings this past summer and ultimately the ban which FIFA has imposed on the club due to irregularities on the signings of players under 18 years of age in the last four years. While it was public knowledge that the former goalkeeper would eventually be blamed for all these issues surrounding the club, it was his statements on TV after the defeat in Anoeta that accelerated the whole situation and ended up with Zubizarreta fired and his right hand, Carles Puyol, quitting from his post. SEE ALSO: Is 2015 Neymar’s year? Zubizarreta admitted to his part of the fault in the whole ordeal with FIFA, but also said that in the years the signing of the seven young players in question took place, now club President, Josep Maria Bartomeu, was the VP of Sports, his direct manager, and obviously also responsible for the decisions taken with regards to those signings. The Board of directors saw this as a direct attack from Zubizarreta and unilaterally decided to rescind his contract, putting an end to the agonizing situation the football director had been living in the last few months. Aside from the decisions that brought forth FIFA’s ban –ratified by TAS in December and by which Barça will not be able to sign any players until the 2016 Winter Market window–, Zubizarreta is also held responsible for the mistakes the club has made in signing players since 2010, and for letting go some talented footballers who were supposed to be strategic to the team’s future. On the one hand, the arrivals of Vermaelen –who still has not suited up for Barcelona having been signed injured from Arsenal–, Mathieu –deemed too expensive after arriving for a 20 million euro transfer from Valencia, and already in his 30s–, and Douglas –a player no one really understands how he could be playing for Barça– have haunted Zubizarreta’s reputation since the summer. His biggest mistake was to let go of players like Valdes –did not renew his contract–, Thiago –sold for 24 million to Bayern Munich after the Germans exercised an overseen clause in his contract–, or Cesc –at 27 years old who was supposed to be Xavi’s replacement and who now leads Mourinho’s Chelsea in England–, who fans and pundits deemed still necessary for the club. With Puyol also handing in his resignation –he was Bartomeu’s first option to take over from Zubizarreta–, and Luis Enrique being questioned by everyone in Spain, Lionel Messi also decided to add his two cents to the craziest day the club has seen since Sandro Rosell quit last year. Tension between Messi and Luis Enrique is hurting Barcelona The Argentine did not show up to practice, allegedly due to stomach issues –something he has alluded to in the past whenever he has decided to forego his responsibility to practice with the rest of the squad–, following what the Catalan press have defined as “a very heated discussion with Luis Enrique” in Anoeta. The head coach gave Messi, and Neymar and Alves, an extra day of vacation seeing as the three were traveling to South America for Christmas, but then he didn’t start any of the three against Real Sociedad. Messi was subbed in at half-time, and eventually Neymar and Alves came into the match too, but neither of the Brazilians nor the Argentine were able to turn around the 1-0 Moyes’ men had achieved 90 seconds into the match. SEE ALSO: Real Madrid invincible no more Luis Enrique and Messi had already been said to have quite different points of view in many aspects, and their relationship was respectful, at best, but perhaps not even cordial. After the episode in San Sebastian, Catalan tabloids have reported a full breakdown of communication between the two, which may push Bartomeu to have to decide between one or the other for next season. That is to say if Bartomeu himself remains in the club next season. Shielded by the governing laws of FC Barcelona, the President decided to remain in his post and not call for elections last year when he took over from Sandro Rosell, a very unpopular measure amongst fans who wanted to have a say on who would rule the club moving forward. Bartomeu was keen to remain as the head of the club until 2016, and then expose his candidacy to remain as president during the election period, but after the latest turn of events, he may have to push up the elections calendar and may even decide to not make a run for it himself. Many things are up in the air in Barcelona, and unless everything calms down soon enough, the team could experience their second year in a row without major trophies.The post The implosion of FC Barcelona appeared first on Voxxi.

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona reacts during the La Liga match between Real Sociedad and Barcelona at Estadio Anoeta on January 4, 2015 in San Sebastian, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

It’s been coming for a while but it finally happened. FC Barcelona imploded a day after losing to Real Sociedad, and there may still be some surprises in the horizon.

The team didn’t do its part in Anoeta, in the first game of the year, and after losing 1-0 to David Moyes’ men, the events have been unraveling in the following 24 hours until chaos has ensued in the Catalan club.

Football director Andoni Zubizarreta has been fired, being finally and openly held responsible for the poor planning of the first team’s squad, the bad performances of some of the signings this past summer and ultimately the ban which FIFA has imposed on the club due to irregularities on the signings of players under 18 years of age in the last four years.

While it was public knowledge that the former goalkeeper would eventually be blamed for all these issues surrounding the club, it was his statements on TV after the defeat in Anoeta that accelerated the whole situation and ended up with Zubizarreta fired and his right hand, Carles Puyol, quitting from his post.

SEE ALSO: Is 2015 Neymar’s year?

Zubizarreta admitted to his part of the fault in the whole ordeal with FIFA, but also said that in the years the signing of the seven young players in question took place, now club President, Josep Maria Bartomeu, was the VP of Sports, his direct manager, and obviously also responsible for the decisions taken with regards to those signings.

The Board of directors saw this as a direct attack from Zubizarreta and unilaterally decided to rescind his contract, putting an end to the agonizing situation the football director had been living in the last few months.

Aside from the decisions that brought forth FIFA’s ban –ratified by TAS in December and by which Barça will not be able to sign any players until the 2016 Winter Market window–, Zubizarreta is also held responsible for the mistakes the club has made in signing players since 2010, and for letting go some talented footballers who were supposed to be strategic to the team’s future.

On the one hand, the arrivals of Vermaelen –who still has not suited up for Barcelona having been signed injured from Arsenal–, Mathieu –deemed too expensive after arriving for a 20 million euro transfer from Valencia, and already in his 30s–, and Douglas –a player no one really understands how he could be playing for Barça– have haunted Zubizarreta’s reputation since the summer.

His biggest mistake was to let go of players like Valdes –did not renew his contract–, Thiago –sold for 24 million to Bayern Munich after the Germans exercised an overseen clause in his contract–, or Cesc –at 27 years old who was supposed to be Xavi’s replacement and who now leads Mourinho’s Chelsea in England–, who fans and pundits deemed still necessary for the club.

With Puyol also handing in his resignation –he was Bartomeu’s first option to take over from Zubizarreta–, and Luis Enrique being questioned by everyone in Spain, Lionel Messi also decided to add his two cents to the craziest day the club has seen since Sandro Rosell quit last year.

Tension between Messi and Luis Enrique is hurting Barcelona

The Argentine did not show up to practice, allegedly due to stomach issues –something he has alluded to in the past whenever he has decided to forego his responsibility to practice with the rest of the squad–, following what the Catalan press have defined as “a very heated discussion with Luis Enrique” in Anoeta.

The head coach gave Messi, and Neymar and Alves, an extra day of vacation seeing as the three were traveling to South America for Christmas, but then he didn’t start any of the three against Real Sociedad. Messi was subbed in at half-time, and eventually Neymar and Alves came into the match too, but neither of the Brazilians nor the Argentine were able to turn around the 1-0 Moyes’ men had achieved 90 seconds into the match.

SEE ALSO: Real Madrid invincible no more

Luis Enrique and Messi had already been said to have quite different points of view in many aspects, and their relationship was respectful, at best, but perhaps not even cordial. After the episode in San Sebastian, Catalan tabloids have reported a full breakdown of communication between the two, which may push Bartomeu to have to decide between one or the other for next season.

That is to say if Bartomeu himself remains in the club next season. Shielded by the governing laws of FC Barcelona, the President decided to remain in his post and not call for elections last year when he took over from Sandro Rosell, a very unpopular measure amongst fans who wanted to have a say on who would rule the club moving forward.

Bartomeu was keen to remain as the head of the club until 2016, and then expose his candidacy to remain as president during the election period, but after the latest turn of events, he may have to push up the elections calendar and may even decide to not make a run for it himself.

Many things are up in the air in Barcelona, and unless everything calms down soon enough, the team could experience their second year in a row without major trophies.

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