Parallels between the free-flowing and amazing FC Barcelona of 2003 and FC Barcelona of 2022 » FirstSportz

Do you remember the 2003/04 season? To refresh your memory, that was when Edgar Davids arrived mid-season and had a similar effect to what happened to FC Barcelona this year since Ferran Torres, Dani Alves, Adama Traoré and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were added to the mix.

As in 2003/04, the season started below average, but ended with a remarkable upswing. The high point came when a Xavi-inspired team, then on the pitch and not in the dugout, won the Clásico at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Barcelona’s winter transfer window

FC Barcelona players - FirstSportz
Barcelona players celebrate a goal

The first parallel is President Joan Laporta. 2003 was the first year he took charge of Barcelona in his first term as President. Edgar Davids led the midfield which also had current manager Xavi as the new up and coming player and Philip Cocu as the veteran who completely transformed the team much like Ferran, Dani Alves, Adama and Aubamayang do today including 4-goal Matches against Athletico Madrid, Osasuna, Napoli and Valencia.

It’s just like the 2003-2004 season when Edgar Davids led Barcelona to victories against Athletico Madrid at the Camp Nou and against Valencia (leaders at the time) and eternal rivals Real Madrid. Away from El Clasico this season, a certain Xavi Hernandez was named Man of the Match for his brilliant performances.

youth promotion

FC Barcelona Pedri
Barcelona prodigy Pedri

Just like this season, some La Masia players were promoted to the first team, some of whom became club legends and club captains when their time came. 2003-2004, Viktor Waldes was appointed goalkeeper of the first team, Oleguer and puyol started to start for the first team in defense, Xavi mastered the midfield, and Juan Garcia started scoring goals for the team in attack.

In 2021-22, the same can be said for the likes Arnau Tenas in gate, Eric Garcia for defense Nico, Gavi and Pedri in midfield and Jutgla

in attack.

It’s also important to remember that, like 2003-04, youngsters in the first team are mixed with veterans like Nico, Gavi, Pedri, Eric and Jutgla and mentored by veterans like Busquets, Pique and Jordi Alba.

Close to Real Madrid

El Classico
El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid

In 2004, Barça amassed an exceptional streak of 17 league games unbeaten to improve from a low 12th place at half-time in the tournament and eventually finish second.

Remarkably, Barça managed to catch up Difference of not less than 18 points against Real Madrid, eventually finishing two points ahead of them, although it wasn’t enough to overtake Valencia, who lifted the trophy that year.

In 2021-2022, Barça are 15 points behind Real Madrid but have a game in hand and the game at the Santiago Bernabéu on the horizon, this Sunday at 21:00 CET or 1:30 AM IST. The gap to the lead in the table could potentially be reduced to just nine points. Winning La Liga is clearly a VERY difficult challenge at the moment, but by no means an outright impossibility.

Barcelona’s participation in the Europa League

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Barcelona’s new number 10, Ansu Fati

In 2003-2004, Barça took part in the Europa League, then known as UEFA Cup. Their run ended in the quarter-finals against Glasgow Celtic (now Celtic) and despite the massive increase in performance, the Catalans ended the season empty-handed in terms of trophies.

In another curious parallel, Barça are back in the tournament in 2021/22, albeit in a new Europa League guise, for the first time in a season that bears a number of odd parallels with the current one.

Also read: Dani Alves thinks Lionel Messi is ‘out of place’ at PSG and wishes for his Camp Nou return Parallels between the free-flowing and amazing FC Barcelona of 2003 and FC Barcelona of 2022 » FirstSportz

Subhankar Mondal

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