Latest setback causes Barcelona to review their season objectives

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 17: FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta gives a press conference in response to recent allegations over payments made to referees by the club, at Spotify Camp Nou on April 17, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. UEFA and Spanish authorities are investigating Barcelona over the payment of millions of euros to the company of Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, the former vice-president of Spanish football's refereeing committee. If found guilty, UEFA's investigation could lead to a Champions League ban for the club.
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

The draw against Granada last night can ultimately prove to be a decisive event for FC Barcelona in their defense of the La Liga title. The loss of two points on the night meant that the Catalans now trail the leaders Real Madrid by ten points, and the second-placed Girona by five.

Xavi and Yamal both admitted after the game against Granada that winning the league would now be very difficult for them, but neither these two individuals nor anyone else has publicly admitted defeat yet.

However, SPORT reports that Barcelona understand that winning the league is almost impossible now, and thus have changed the objectives set for this season.

Now, with regards to La Liga, the Board of Directors at Barcelona now requires the team to at least qualify for the next edition of the UEFA Champions League by finishing in the top four positions. As things stand, Barcelona are third and have Atletico Madrid and Athletic Club trailing them with three and six points respectively.

While finishing in the top four is necessary, the Barcelona board actually expects the team to finish second, by overtaking Girona. Finishing in the second spot will give Barcelona the chance to compete in the Spanish Super Cup next season, from which the Catalans can earn a significant amount of money.

Furthermore, Barcelona are also alive in the UEFA Champions League, and Xavi’s team will face Napoli next week in the Round of 16 of this tournament.

The Barcelona Board has set the objective of getting beyond this stage at the minimum, while advancing further in the tournament will depend on factors like opponents drawn, players available, and the team’s growth, etc.

The Blaugranes seemed to be set for a fighting end to the season with their last two matches against Osasuna and Alaves. However, the draw against Granada has once again brought the team back to square one, as things look extremely complicated for Barcelona, which is clearly symbolized by this change of objectives.

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