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The keys to Barcelona winning La Liga

After four long years, FC Barcelona have managed to win La Liga once again with four games left, celebrating in the stadium of city rivals Espanyol, which resulted in controversy. Regardless of that, it has been a massive step in the right direction for the team coached by Xavi Hernandez, and this success could very well be a major factor in the coming years for this project.

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It was a weird season for Barcelona in other competitions: while they were league leaders for most of the season and with some ease, they were out of the Champions League in the group stage and lost against Manchester United in the round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League, and they failed to go to the latter stages of the Copa del Rey, losing to eternal rivals Real Madrid in the process. It wasn’t a pill easy to take for the Blaugrana faithful.

Their league form, however, was outstanding. Polish striker Robert Lewandowski added much-needed experience and quality to the squad, scoring 21 goals in 30 league games, cementing himself as one of the best strikers in La Liga, and carrying on with what he was doing in Bayern Munich. Such a proficient goalscorer was needed after Luis Suarez’s departure and Lewandowski has added that in spades.

Midfield was the strongest part, like it always happens in Barcelona over the years. Despite their young age, players such as Pedri and Gavi have proven that they compete with the best of them, and they have become key cogs of the Xavi Hernandez machinery, with the team losing a lot when they were not available. It’s hard to grasp a proper Barcelona side these days without the input of Pedri and Gavi in midfield.

Their defense, though, deserves a lot more recognition. Even though goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen has been fairly inconsistent over the years, this Barcelona defense has conceded only 13 goals in league games to win La Liga, which is an outstanding record, and it highlights the quality of the squad’s defensive work, particularly that of the Uruguayan Ronald Araujo, who has been their standout performer, injuries notwithstanding.

A player such as Frenkie De Jong, inconsistent since his signing back in 2019 and rumored to leave for Manchester United last summer, has stepped up this season, finding a way to work with other players in midfield, something he struggled with in previous years. The way Xavi has managed to make De Jong work was one of the keys to the team’s success in the league.

Xavi himself deserves some credit as well. While his performances as a coach in the cups have been subpar, to say the least, he added a lot of consistency and solidity to the team in the league, plus the capacity to rise from setbacks after getting out of European competitions and losing against Madrid in the Copa del Rey. This last part is probably Barcelona’s biggest success in their campaign in La Liga.

Four years without winning La Liga is a lot for FC Barcelona, but the dry spell has finally ended.

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