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Dec 31, 2017


FC Barcelona wrote history by winning Copa Del Rey title for the third consecutive times but failure to land La Liga and Champions League title will mark 2017 as a disappointing season

Barcelona head into the New Year aiming to add more silverware to their trophy cabinet, but 2017 was ultimately a slightly disappointing 12 months for the La Liga giants in terms of silverware.


Barca marked the end of Luis Enrique's time as manager by becoming the first side since the 1950s to win the Copa del Rey three years in a row with a 3-1 victory over Alaves. However, success in the Champions League and La Liga eluded them and fans will certainly expect a better return in 2018.


We take a look at four big talking points from 2017 for Barcelona.

Barca miss out on the big ones

A final day victory over Eibar wasn't enough for Barca in the league, as Real Madrid claimed top spot to deny their big rivals a third successive title. Juventus proved too strong in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, securing a 3-0 aggregate victory to leave Barca with just the Cope Del Rey for their efforts. Enrique's status a Barca legend is safe after winning nine trophies during his time in charge, but new boss Ernesto Valverde will be eager to win the ones that matter in 2018.


New manager already making his mark

Valverde's reign didn't start too well, with Barca crashing 5-1 on aggregate against Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup, although things have improved significantly since then. Barca ended 2017 with a nine-point lead over Atletico Madrid in La Liga, and punters will need to access football betting bonus offers to obtain value from what appears to be a one-horse title race. Valverde has also guided Barcelona into the last 16 of the Champions League and Copa Del Rey, setting up the prospect of winning the treble in his first season in charge.


Neymar exit will prove to be a blessing

Neymar swapped Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer for a world record transfer fee of £198 million. The Brazilian's link-up with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez is considered by many people to be the greatest strike-force in football history. In their three years at the club the 'MSN' scored an incredible 364 goals in total, but it can be argued that Barca became too reliant on the trio. Neymar's attitude towards the end of his time at the Nou Camp was also questionable, and his departure could well prove to be a blessing in the long run.


Messi still the greatest

Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo may have won the Ballon d'or, but Messi is the still the greatest player on the planet. He was a key part of the club's Copa del Rey victory and ended the 2016/17 campaign with 54 goals and 19 assists. The 30-year-old has continued in the same vein this season, scoring 19 goals with eight assists in 25 appearances in all competitions. Messi will be eager to maintain his form in the run up to the World Cup in Russia, and Barca fans can expect plenty more fireworks this year.

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