The Barça believes it

Barça players listen to Koeman's talk before training.

After falling with Madrid in the first round of the League (1-3), Barça lost the leadership to show their weaknesses and emphasize that it was a transitional season due to the lack of money to sign and the arrival of young people like Pedri and Trincão, in addition to the many homegrown players promoted by Ronald Koeman. The team did not work and on matchday 16 it was 11 points behind Atlético. But after the months, everything has been forgotten because if they beat Granada this Thursday (19.00, in Movistar) they would put themselves at the top of the table with five days to close the course. “It is important to be leaders. But if you look back, it is an unexpected situation. What we have achieved is something great; to be able to fight for the League ”, explained the Barça coach, referring to a heart attack ending because between the leader and the fourth (Seville) there are only three points of difference, with Barça and Madrid in between. Success that the culer club has already experienced other times, since it is the team that has made the greatest comebacks in the League throughout history: three of the four leagues of the dream team They were reached on the last day, with Tenerife and Dépor de Djukic in between, while Capello’s Madrid won the tight 2006-2007 tournament.

1991-1992 season. Eight points to Madrid. Barça paled in the League, eight points behind Madrid on matchday 14. “We came from a good season by winning the League with solvency, the first for Cruyff. And we had the idea of ​​starting the same and repeating. But it wasn’t like that ”, recounts Guillermo Amor, a member of that team. At that time, the victory was still worth two points and the Antic team heeded their wishes, because on the first day of the course they warned: “I want a Madrid champion”. And he was getting it, leading at the end of the first round, although with the slogan that “the team plays badly”… So he was dismissed in a surprising way and Beenhakker arrived. “Something similar to what happened to Valverde and Barça last year,” says Miguel Ángel Nadal, a central defender who arrived at the Camp Nou that year. And he adds: “After the bad start, we set the goal of the golaveraje and then we would see … It turned out very well.” Amor intervenes: “Before Oviedo they whistled us at home and it was a turning point. We drew with Madrid, we beat Dépor and we recovered our sensations: we went 15 games without losing ”.

Thus, Cruyff’s Barça took color and form with the passage of the games until they were crowned European Cup champions for the first time thanks to Koeman’s goal for Sampdoria. “After that, we got together to show that we could do something more important. And we played well, like in that game against Espanyol that we beat 0-4 with 10 players for about 40 minutes [expulsión de Nando]”, Says Amor. Fuel to face the last five league duels with triumph and derail Madrid, who lost their nerves, the match and the tournament on the last day in Tenerife as they would do again in the following season. “They are the triumphs that are most remembered,” says Nadal; “Because from suffering you go to the thrill of victory and it tastes better.” Amor expands: “I don’t know if it’s better, but it certainly tastes very good. The champion is the one who deserves it, but it was not easy to have that dependence on Madrid’s results. But it was unforgettable, very beautiful ”.

Date that Valencia, in the 2003-04 season, also managed to turn eight points with Madrid, the other great comeback that ended with the laurel of the League.

1998-1999 season. Nine points to Mallorca (already with three points for victory). The landing of the Dutch (Zenden, Cocu, Kluivert and, later, the Boer brothers) did not fit in at the Camp Nou, which went from connecting with the Cruyff team to being suspicious of some players who did not measure up at the beginning of the course, Well, on matchday 14 the team was tenth to nine points behind Mallorca. It was Van Gaal’s second year at the club and he was not in tune with the stands either. “It is that they compared him with Johan because of being Dutch and it is already known that Cruyff had a special charisma. It was difficult for Louis because of his character and because he was more sour, although a good person, ”says Nadal.

But the matter was not going well, with Rivaldo disgusted in the band – he did not even celebrate his first goal of the course – and many injuries. Until the match against Valladolid arrived in which to fall, Van Gaal would be fired. But Xavi jumped more than anyone and scored with his head to rebuild a team that since then added 17 wins, three draws and one defeat to be proclaimed champion three days from the end. “You are rarely with a coach… And with Van Gaal the pieces fell into place and there was also an opening with the Dutch. And we won the League ”, remembers Nadal. Now, Barcelona has the floor because it depends on itself.

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