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Sep 1, 2016

Barcelona are currently the undisputed top team in Spain and last season were treble winners with La Liga, Copa del Rey and Supercopa de España. Since Pep Guardiola took charge of the team in 2008 they have won six of the past eight La Liga titles which brings them up to 24 time winners and gradually creeping up on Real Madrid who hold the record with 32 league wins. Current boss, Luis Enrique, has won two La Liga’s, two Copa del Rey’s, one Supercopa de España, one Champions League, one UEFA Super Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup, which is a very impressive collection and not far behind Guardiola’s record.

As we head into the 2016-17 La Liga season are Barcelona on course for a third consecutive league title or will they be overthrown this season? Barcelona are currently the favourites according to online odds, with Real Madrid and Athletico Madrid second and third respectively. However, there is a lot of football to be played and other factors to consider on the journey.

Squad

Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar come to mind when you consider Barcelona’s mouth-watering squad that has led them to many success in recent years. This summer big names like Sandro, Dani Alves, Marc Bartra and Adriano left after long histories with the club. They have been replaced with Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Digne, and André Gomes. It currently remains to be seen how these players will adapt to their new clubs and contribute on the big stage. More recently they have sold Claudio Bravo to Manchester City and replaced him with Dutch no.1 Jasper Cillesen, who will now battle Marc-André ter Stergen as the clubs first choice.

Other Contenders

The biggest threat to Barca is record 32 time champions Real Madrid. The Blancos have looked very impressive since Zinedine Zidane took over as manager and even won the most recent Champions League. Some Madrid fans may be worried by the lack of recruitment as they’ve only bought Álvaro Morata back from Juventus, while Fábio Coentrão has returned from loan. They have also sold Jesé, Denis Cheryshev, Omar Mascarell and Álvaro Medrán for a combined €34.5million. The European Champions opted not to renew their interest in Manchester United’s keeper David de Gea but they still have Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, so there’s no reason to expect a goal drought.

On the other side of the capital, Diego Simeone is now in his fifth full season as Athletico and in the hunt for his second league title. After an impressive Euro 2016 tournament, many may have been expecting for big transfer offers to come in for Antoine Griezmann, the but lo and behold, the French midfielders is set to stay at Athletico and is their best chance of winning any silverware this season. They have also made some impressive key signings in Kévin Gameiro and Nicolás Gaitán who, along with the permanent return of Fernando Torres, could make Athletico a powerful attacking threat.

It will a hard fought contest against the long 38-match season, but Barcelona remain the key favourites to win La Liga, due to their star power and strong key nucleus to their squad. However, ignoring the Madrid teams of Athletico and Real will be at their peril as they are not to be taken lightly.

All About FC Barcelona

AllAboutFCBarcelona.com is a Blog dedicated to the Most prestigous Club in the world, FC Barcelona by an ardent fan. Here I discuss about the Latest happening surrounding our Club and present my Views about the same.


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