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Barcelona are 'boiling' in a sporting crisis Mascherano

4 months ago
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Javier Mascherano thinks Barcelona have moved away from what made the club great and hopes Ronald Koeman can get them back on track.

Barcelona are "boiling" in a "sporting crisis" following their Champions League humiliation, says their former defender Javier Mascherano.

Bayern Munich thrashed Barca 8-2 at the Estadio da Luz on Friday, handing the Catalan giants their biggest defeat in Europe and heaviest loss in any competition since 1946.

It capped a disappointing end to the 2019-20 season for the Blaugrana, who took a two-point lead at the top of LaLiga into the hiatus amid the coronavirus pandemic but ended up being dethroned by Real Madrid and finishing five points adrift of the new champions.

Head coach Quique Setien, who replaced Ernesto Valverde when the team were top of the league in February, has been sacked, while sporting director Eric Abidal has been relieved of his duties.

Presidential elections have been called for next year and Mascherano, who was a Champions League winner with Barca under Pep Guardiola in 2010-11 and part of Luis Enrique's treble-winning side in 2014-15, believes the club has drifted away from what made it successful during his time at Camp Nou.

"All I know is what I read and what I hear. I've not talked to Leo [Messi] – it is not the time to bother them about what is happening – but I understand there is a sporting crisis," Mascherano told TNT Sports.

"The truth is that the club is boiling. It is a club which demands not only results, but also to maintain a style of play.

"That is what Barcelona fans are demanding: to re-lay the foundations of what the club was a few years ago, taking up the philosophy that made Barca different from other clubs."

Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu hopes to appoint Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman ahead of the 2020-21 season.

Koeman played for Barca for six years during Johan Cruyff's illustrious tenure and was an assistant to Louis van Gaal before moving into senior management.

Mascherano hopes the 57-year-old Dutchman is the right man to get the club back on track.

"Barca is a special club because people are taught to watch football, because people for 30 years understand this is the way [to play] and that's why it is not enough just to win," said Mascherano.

"The way you do it is important and is perhaps what they ended up reproaching Valverde for last season. The team was winning but did not fulfil what the fans required in terms of playing.

"Hopefully, if from what they say Koeman will be the new coach, he can be the one who can re-lay the foundations of Barcelona and return to that style that provided so many results, but above all that made the team so different to others."

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