FC Barcelona: A chronic hegemony in Spain is already being tested in Europe | Soccer | Sports


In 1988, in the sixth edition of the Queen’s Cup, when women’s football was not seen and even less appreciated, Oiartzun was proclaimed champion in the final against Porvernir. The result, 8-0. In the competition, no name from any club resonates now. That was the biggest win in the Cup for 36 years, and this Saturday Barcelona, ​​in another demonstration of its overwhelming — and worrying — dominance equaled it in just 58 minutes. Against Real Sociedad and in the final. The same team and the same rival that only four years ago left another record number: the biggest win in a final, in this case it was the Super Cup: 10-1, in favor of the Blaugrana, of course.

The eight goals were, once again, so many that even Mariona Caldentey, one of the scorers, had a lapse in her statements after the game: “A five to zero in a final is our credit, we have done many things well and we have been working”.

There is no rival for Barcelona in Spain. The competition does not matter: League, Super Cup or Cup. It does not matter if it is a final, or there are still days to play. On the peninsula, the Barça players have imposed a hegemony that is impossible to beat. Just a few weeks ago they won their fifth consecutive League and ninth in their history, and this Saturday they lifted their tenth Cup, which escaped last year due to an improper alignment. They only needed 33 minutes to close the final with five goals in a demonstration of superiority on a collective and individual level. The rest of the game served to crush Real; and to allow rotations for next week’s Champions League final in San Mamés.

Barcelona has scored 167 goals this season in the three state competitions – 129 in the League, 27 in the cup and 11 in the Super Cup -, with 34 games won and only one draw, against Levante. No defeat. Outside, in Europe, everything gets a little more complicated; The reality is different: they have been victorious in eight games, with one lost against Chelsea and another tied against Benfica. The goals are reduced to 34, and the difficulties increase. Next week they will face their bete noire, the king on the European continent and whom they have never defeated: Olympique de Lyon, with eight Champions Leagues in their pockets compared to Barcelona’s two, and which this Friday took home again the French League, the seventeenth in his record.

Barcelona’s dominance in Spain is beginning to become chronic. In the last five seasons they have only lost four games and drawn another four, compared to 160 victories. And the goals have not dropped below 120, with the peak of 180 in the 2020-2021 season. In those five years he has won 13 of the 15 possible titles: he was eliminated for non-sporting reasons in last year’s Copa de la Reina and lost in the semifinals of the 2021 Super Cup against Atlético. In Europe, in the last five years they have three draws and six defeats.

The lack of level of state competitions worries some players. “In Spain I wish everything were more competitive. Except for five rivals, the rest are unlikely to be. We are fighting for it,” confessed Patri Guijarro in the preview of the match against Real. A speech that has been installed in the Barcelona locker room in recent months, especially in the statements of Aitana Bonmatí, the current Ballon d’Or winner.

One of the main problems derived is the flight of talent. This same Saturday, the Spanish under-17 team won its fifth European title by a landslide, 4-0 over England. But many players in recent months have been exiled to American or English teams. Ana Tejada, Mayra Ramírez, Oshoala and Kundananji are some of those who have made the leap outside the peninsula. Also the coaches. Jonatan Giráldez will leave the Barça bench at the end of the season to go to the United States—to the Washington Spirit—, accompanied by Adrián González, who left the Espanyol women’s bench.

Next week, against Lyon, Barcelona will land in reality, and they will abandon the mirages of Spain. “We are three out of four (titles). We have one left,” Mariona recalled. The ambition has not been lost, and the focus is already on.

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