Why Barcelona’s dominance looks like it’s coming to its end

FC Barcelona is without a doubt one of the most storied football clubs on Earth. Along with the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United and Bayern Munich, the club has been consistently one of the world’s best over the last 25 years or so. But, as the old adage says, “What goes up, must come down.” It takes some squads longer to succumb to this than others, but eventually, people realize that a team’s dominance is no more.

That’s the case with FC Barcelona and the first indication that this could be the beginning of the end was a 4-0 defeat against Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes. Simply put, Barcelona (besides goalie Marc Andre Ter-Stegen, who made a few wonderful saves) was woefully ineffective and consistently a step behind of a clearly superior PSG during the first leg of their Round of 16 Champions League matchup. Officially, no team has ever recovered from a four-goal deficit in the first leg to win in the second, which means Barcelona is pretty much guaranteed to be making their earliest exit from the competition since 2010.

But this has a deeper significance. Looking at the squad Barcelona fielded for the Champions League tie, maybe there were a few changes that manager Luis Enrique made in the side that were unnecessary, but for the vast majority of the team, the players played as if they were a “B” team instead of the European powerhouse that Barcelona has become over the last few decades.

Now is a moment for Luis Enrique and his squad to reflect on suffering one of their worst losses in team history and try to figure out how to move forward from this. But certainly, they have lost a lot of their “fear factor” with their drubbing at the hands of PSG.

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