The nightmare of Real Madrid and the unexpected loss from Barcelona.

Real Madrid and Barcelona lost midweek from Sevilla and Leganes with 3-0 and 2-1 respectively. Remarkably, the scores could have been higher because the performances from the two Spanish giants were substandard. Thus, Football World analyses the reasons behind the poor performances of both Spanish clubs.

Barcelona: The “Messi-dependence” situation.

Lionel Messi is the legend of Barcelona. He is the best in their entire history with an outstanding contribution to Barcelona’s development and success (read more). However, such a “Messi-dependence” prevent the club to plan a future without the Argentinian ‘magician’. This is the major problem for the Catalans, and as Messi claimed:

“It’s crazy [to say] that the best club in the world depends on just one player. If that’s the case, something’s being done wrong because Barcelona have [too many] great players to say that they depend on just one.”

– Lionel Messi –


Barcelona has stuck in the past of Pep Guardiola’s team composed by Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Piqué, Messi etc. The absence of Puyol is noticeable and it will be analysed further down. Xavi and Iniesta both belong to the past, while it is impossible for Barcelona to replace them entirely.

Consequently, Messi leads the club mostly alone to the glory. As revealed months ago, last season was the most influential of Messi’s career in Barcelona. How long will Messi chiefly influences Barcelona’s results and progress? The club lives in an insecure situation, and thus the future seems more equivocal than ever.

Real Madrid: The lack of an in-depth bench.

The absence of reinforcement in the attacking line is the principal problem for Real Madrid squad. Julen Lopetegui trusts the youngsters Ceballos, Llorente, Vallejo, Mariano and Vinicius to strengthen the White’s bench. However, there are two specific questions regarding these players:

  1. Will they withstand the high pressure of Real Madrid jersey?
  2. Is their quality sufficient to help the club win trophies?  

Two years ago Real Madrid won the Spanish La Liga and the Champions League title in Cardiff. This team was composed approximately by the current squad plus Ronaldo, Morata, James Rodriguez, Kovacic and Pepe. The quality on the bench was extremely high as well as these players are well-experienced. Now the youngsters should overcome their stress and pressure and assist Real Madrid to win trophies. Ceballos and the rest youngsters are very talented, but in Madrid, the quality is a part of things which are needed to succeed in.

Real Madrid’s transfer policy has changed in the last years. The investment in youngsters is the critical priority in Madrid. One reason for this may be the redevelopment of the Santiago Bernabeu. Florentino Perez announced the financial issues of such a development and how Real Madrid will profit from the new stadium (read more). However, another question for Real Madrid fans is how the new stadium will affect the future transfer policy of the club?

The hole in both defences.

Historically, the power of the two Spanish football giants was the attack. The defence is a significant problem for Real Madrid and Barcelona, especially this season. Real Madrid has not conceded many goals compared to last season, but the performances in defence are problematic. Ramos and Varane seems considerably tired, while on the bench only Nacho is available at the moment. Marcelo is an attacking left back without qualitative defensive skills.

Casemiro is a valuable asset in midfield, nevertheless, when he is unavailable, the problem is clear. Thus, Lopetegui faces severe difficulties to prevent attacks from Marcelo’s side as happened against Sevilla. If these players return in an excellent condition, the problem will undoubtedly be minimised.

From the Catalans side, the defensive problem is approximately the same. Gerard Pique underperforms continuously, while Umtiti seems precisely as Varane in Real Madrid: exhausted. Pique has lost his high speed, and personal mistakes are more than usual in each game. The following image from illustrates a comparison when Barcelona conceded 7 goals this season and last season.

Regarding the midfield, the trio of Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets belongs to the past. Busquets was the top of this triangle, and the core man to regain the ball from the opponent’s attacks. But now Iniesta and Xavi have gone, and Rakitic, Arthur and Vidal are unable to keep the ball possession as the two Spanish ‘magicians’. Consequently, Barcelona loses the ball effortlessly and Busquets who is 30 years old is being exposed easily.

Will they invert the current situation?

Real Madrid and Barcelona are two of the best football clubs worldwide. They know how to react and reverse negative situations. The point is how fast will they improve their weaknesses regarding their goals. Football World has mentioned the goals of both Real Madrid and Barcelona this season (read more). However, the problems as discussed above from both clubs should be minimised entirely to have a successful season. The counterattack from Real Madrid and Barcelona will be impressive, and football fans await impatiently to watch spectacular football. The next games will answer our questions.

Do you agree with the above problems?

Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on the comments below.