Bad management. Xavi said yesterday that Barça cannot shoot themselves in the foot with Dembélé and put the Frenchman in the squad. A little late. The absurd authoritarianism of the club when he verified that he had lost his hand in the game of his renewal had the connivance of the coach, who did not take him to San Mamés. Perhaps with Ousmane, the history of the Cup would have been different. For now, Barça has gotten off the donkey and Dembélé is available again, although now it is difficult to know how much everything that has happened this month will weigh, especially in public opinion. The reaction of the Camp Nou if it plays against Atlético today will speak clearly about how the story can progress in the coming months and to what extent the attacks on the player have been harmful.
Return of the Uruguayan. Beyond Dembélé, it is a day of names in Barcelona. Ferran, Adama or Aubameyang are going to play their first match in front of a crowd that, today, will be able to fire Luis Suárez, who returned to the Camp Nou last season with the doors closed. The Uruguayan left hurt with reason. Barça’s third all-time scorer (198 goals), only behind César (232) and Messi (634), ended up as the main player in the 2-8 win in Lisbon and that cold phone call from Koeman to announce that he had to leave seemed like a Bartomeu’s knife. Suárez got even with last year’s League, although perhaps he had a few words left over about Barça. You also know, Suárez, that he was part of that small group of players who amassed more power than necessary at Barça. As much as to phone the president to go to his house and squeeze him with the signing of Coutinho, who both the Uruguayan and Messi sponsored. He talked less about that. The public, however, understands what happens on the pitch. And there Suárez has been one of the greatest by far. Except for surprise, the ovation will be thunderous.
More spikes. We are going, then, towards a hot Barça-Atlético from all the cardinal points, and with one more pending account. That Xavi said in his day that Atlético’s football was not for the greats has turned on Simeone, who is going to go out to the Camp Nou like a caged wolf. Xavi didn’t budge a line from his speech (“I wouldn’t fit in here, people wouldn’t understand a team that messed with eleven players at the back”), but the true greatness of football is the results. And today there is a lot at stake at the Camp Nou.
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