La Masia naked to the levers | Soccer | Sports

Iñaki Williams fights for the ball with Héctor Fort, in the match between Athletic and Barcelona in San Mamés.Luis Tejido (EFE)

The complaint is always the same in Barcelona: money. In the Camp Nou offices they continue to point to “Bartomeu’s legacy”, in the sports management they complain about “Tebas’ financial fair-play”, while in the coaching staff they talk about the “general situation of the club”. “We are like those aristocrats who go out into the street thinking they own everything and no longer have anything,” they reflect. One of the first decisions that Joan Laporta made was to open the exit door for Messi. “I am not going to mortgage the club for 50 years for anyone, not even for the best in the world,” commented the president the summer that on the 10th he left, in tears, for Paris. Today Inter Miami is worth 74% more since the Argentine arrived: it went from 504 million dollars to 1.02 billion. Barça, with Leo, led the Forbes list of the most valuable clubs in the world (4,052), while today it occupies third place (4,984).

To say goodbye to Messi, in his second summer, Laporta forgot about the “mortgages” that number 10 was going to generate and opted to sell the club’s assets, baptized as levers, to sign Lewandowski, Raphinha and Koundé. Before, he had already spent more than 60 million on Ferran Torres. None of the four appeared in San Mamés. Raphinha, in the infirmary, does not finish demonstrating what he threatened by becoming the Premier. Ferran Torres, Guardiola’s discard, changes good for bad. Koundé forgot to defend (last year he recovered 5.41 balls per duel compared to 4.63 this season) and Lewandowski, as explained in the Ciudad Deportiva, “lost strength.”

With these four, however, Barça won the League last season. “It was a miracle,” the staff concluded. But Xavi could not take advantage of his success. And the same thing happened again. As in the summer of the levers, the players who arrived this summer market were sponsored by the board and not by the coaching staff. Without Busquets or Dembélé, the Barça coach insisted on a pivot. His shortlist: Zubimendi, Kimmich and Brozovic. Instead, Oriol Romeu (3.5 million) and Vitor Roque (30 fixed, plus another 30 in variables) arrived. “They told us that it was a signing that had to be made,” the coaching staff explained. Barça opened its wallet again and did not attend to the needs or tastes of the coach. At full-back he wanted Foyth and not Cancelo, in addition to repeating that he did not want the irregular João Félix. Both, represented by Mendes, Laporta’s colleague, stopped at Montjuïc.

In San Mamés, Cancelo and Vitor Roque did not play; Marc Guiu (18 years old) and Héctor Fort (17) did. Guiu did not score, but Fort, who took the field in place of the injured Balde (he may undergo surgery), performed a surprising exercise of solvency, equally confident against Nico Williams as against Iñaki. Pau Curbasí (17) successfully replaced Christensen. No youth player, in any case, stood out as much as Lamine Yamal (16) in the Cathedral. “He is not afraid. She showed it the first day he came up to train with us. He has the ambition of top players”, they stand out in the coaching staff. Yamal was the Barça player who attempted the most shots against Valverde’s team, three, compared to two from Lewandowski and Guiu.

Xavi, then, had no choice but to surrender to the Masia, today directed by Alexanco. Jordi Roura and Aureli Altimira, protagonists in the signings of these four youth players, are no longer there. García Pimienta is not there either, yesterday in the reserve team, now in Las Palmas (eighth in the League). “They told me that they were firing me to hire their own people,” Pimienta revealed some time later. “I think there is a very good future. Not in terms of me as a coach, but a very good generation project in the club. That’s why we give these kids the opportunity: Cubarsí has ​​a lot of future and present, Fort, Guiu, Yamal and more footballers who are going to enter,” said Xavi in ​​San Mamés. The coach leaves his future conditional on titles. Roura, Altimira and Pimienta no longer lead grassroots football. His legacy, however, exposes Laporta’s levers.

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