Barcelona held a two-point lead in the La Liga standings when sports leagues around the world halted play due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they weren’t the team that hoisted the trophy on Thursday.
Instead, that honor was enjoyed by archrival Real Madrid, which caught fire after play restarted, winning 10 consecutive matches. Barcelona, on the other hand, dropped points in four matches during a five-week span leading up to the end of the season — proving that it’s not how a team starts, but how they finish.
And it’s surprising, as Barcelona clearly has the best roster in La Liga, if looking at talent alone. Their superstar trio upfront of Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez is among the best in the world, yet they came up short.
Their players know exactly how disappointing their blown lead was, too, as Messi called his team “weak” in addressing it.
“We didn’t expect or want it to end in this way, but it’s a reflection of our season,” he said, via ESPN’s Sam Marsden. “[We’ve been] an inconsistent, weak team that has been beaten in intensity and enthusiasm. It has been easy to score goals against us.
“Madrid did what they had to do. They haven’t lost a game since the restart, which deserves credit, but we have helped them by dropping points we should not have dropped.”We must be self-critical, starting with the players, but across the whole club. Madrid won all their games but we are Barcelona and we’re obliged to win every game. We have to look at ourselves, not the opposition, and the performances in recent games have left a lot to be desired.”
At least he held himself and his teammates accountable, whereas others take the high road, and that’s why we believe Barcelona will be back in the mix for the title next season.