In fairness, this was the first season since 2010 in which both Barcelona and Real Madrid have been beaten comprehensively by a better side in the Champions League.
It makes one realise that they are running out of steam and an end of an era could be dawning on the former. No doubt, a Champions League semi-final is still a fantastic achievement, but both teams have had the same core of players for a while now.
Barcelona, for example, have had Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Dani Alves and Victor Valdes as their core players since 2008.
There is no doubting the quality of these players, having excited the world for the past five years. They also have come unstuck in the beautiful bond they have created, and can only get stronger. However, some players may be ageing, and the fact that none of those players included are centre-backs.
Largely due to the injury crisis of club-captain Carles Puyol, Barcelona have lost a warrior and their leader at the back. That is just one of the departments in which they need reinforcements. Perhaps it’s all getting too old – the beautiful passing football is still beautiful, but can be endless.
La Masia is one of the greatest youth academies in the world, and certainly the best window of opportunity for Barcelona. This season has seen them lack energy, and perhaps more appearances from Thiago Alcantara and Cristian Tello amongst others would give them that extra exuberance.
I assure you that Barcelona don’t have to look beyond many of their youth students to fulfil a facelift, along the addition two proven defenders would offer assistance along with their upcoming prospects.
Real Madrid have produced an exciting brand of attacking football, with quicker displays than Barcelona. However, they too need a facelift. Their players have become predictable, especially Angel di Maria and Mesut Ozil, while Xabi Alonso has been far from his best this season.
Although not a completely ideal situation as Barcelona, Real Madrid still need to spend if they are to reach the top again. Perhaps a different striker, and a new midfielder to boss the middle of the park would strengthen their formality.
They’ve also been a one-man team with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring the majority of their goals over the past few seasons. With Jose Mourinho at the helm, Real Madrid improved instantly, but they haven’t gone any further in the past three years. This makes a relevant case for a minor facelift, but both teams will bounce back from their German undoing.
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