Barcelona ended the pre-season with the potential of the team

Barcelona ended the pre-season with the potential of the team

MADRID (AP) – Barcelona surprised many this offseason by making several high-profile signings despite their dire financial situation.

The club’s tactics to improve its squad – mostly by adding new players now with future incomes – have generated a lot of skepticism and criticism.

But even the most anxious Barcelona fans can’t hide their optimism with the team’s prospects ahead of next season, which kicks off next weekend.

The new signings showed plenty of promise in a campaign that culminated in a 6-0 thrashing of Mexican club Pumas at Camp Nou on Sunday in the Jan Gamper tournament.

A crowd of over 83,000 saw the team’s top signing Robert Lewandowski score his first goal for the Catalan club, linking up well with youngster Padre Gonzalez. They also saw the debut of new defender Jules Konde, and new forward Rafinha and the returning Ousmane Dembele again played well.

Barcelona also beat Inter Miami, New York Red Bulls and Spanish rivals Real Madrid during their previous season, in addition to drawing 2-2 with Juventus.

Ahead of Sunday’s game, fans had already received some good news as president John Laporta said the club would meet the Spanish league’s fair play requirements to register all new signings in time for the season.

“We will be able to register all the players,” he said. He dismissed concerns that some players will stay out of the squad until the club earns more.

Barcelona recently sold 25% of the Spanish league television rights for the next 25 years for approximately 670 million euros ($682.1 million) and 25% of its production center for 100 million euros ($101.8 million). On Sunday, it played its first game at Camp Nou as it was renamed following a sponsorship and naming rights deal with Spotify.

“In football there is no time to wait, there is no transfer season,” Laporta told Spanish media. “We did what we had to do to refer Barcelona again.”

After a trophyless season without Lionel Messi for the first time in almost two decades, the club went on the market and quickly became the top off-season spenders in Europe.

Lewandowski arrived from Bayern Munich in a deal worth around 50 million euros ($50.9 million), while Rafinha from Leeds United for around 60 million euros ($61.1 million) and Kondy from Sevilla for around 50 million euros ($50.9 million Dollars).

Barcelona also added young midfielder Frank Casey and central defender Andreas Christensen, and renewed the contract of Dembele, who had already shown during pre-season that he would be a key part of coach Xavi Hernandez’s attack.

The squad’s offense also includes talented youngster Ansu Fati, Dutch international Memphis Depay, Danish international Martin Braithwaite and Spanish international Ferran Torres. In midfield, it still has the likes of Gueye Pez and Padre, who scored both goals against the Pumas, assisted by Lewandowski.

“This Barca is scary,” said the headline of Marca Sport daily on Monday.

“Fantastic,” said the sports newspaper’s front-page headline above Lewandowski’s photo.

Camp Nou is expected to pack up again for the team’s league opener against Rio de Janeiro on Saturday, when another good performance will help Laporta make his case that the club’s top spending will finally be over. be justified in

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