07/19/2020 - 9:40
Barcelona visit Alaves , in closing the participation of both this season in La Liga Santander of Spain and aimless already ahead in the tournament .
The Catalan team, which will feature Lionel Messi among the headlines , lost in the title race with Real Madrid and already had its place in the next Champions League secured.
While the Basques managed to stay in the First Division on the penultimate day, with the victory over Betis.
Si Messi: "We have to do global self-criticism. We are Barcelona and we are obliged to win every game, whatever it may be" pic.twitter.com/86UCE7ff7N- FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) July 16, 2020
The meeting, valid for date 38, is held at the Mendizorroza stadium, with live and direct television from ESPN 2 (channels 103 of Cablevisión and 623 of DirecTV) .
The only incentive for Barcelona is to make Leo Messi a league goalscorer (he has two goals over Karim Benzema) and the possibility of giving action to non-habitual players, and then face a week of rest before facing the return leg of the knockout stages of the Champions League against Napoli, on August 8; in the first leg, in Italy, they had tied 1 to 1.
Messi had remained silent since the resumption of the competition until, finally and after losing the championship to Real Madrid, he expressed himself with a harsh self-criticism about the weak collective functioning of Barcelona in the final stretch of the League and It cast doubt on the future of the team in the Champions League , the competition that lies ahead until the end of the season.
"If we continue like this, we will also lose with Napoli," said the Argentine after the fall at home against Osasuna , and facing the rematch of the knockout stages of the Champions League, in a series that opened before the declaration of the coronavirus pandemic, with a 1 to 1 draw at the San Paolo stadium in the city of Naples.
The rematch of that match will be played on Saturday August 8 at the Camp Nou , and whoever wins will enter the final phase, from the quarterfinals and a single match, to be played in Portugal.
Messi did not choose to focus on the controversy installed around the arbitration help that Real Madrid received in the final stretch of the League, with several failures that favored him, but rather aimed at the low football flight of Barça, than in the ten games disputed since the return of the competition left points in four, with three draws and one defeat .
Lionel Messi celebrates his free kick goal against Osasuna, in a match that ended in defeat. (AP)
Precisely the fall was on Thursday, against Osasuna and at the Camp Nou by 2 to 1, while Real Madrid put together their tenth consecutive victory (2 to 1 against Villarreal) and thereby won their 34th Spanish League.
"We did not expect ... We did not want to finish the League in this way, but it marks a bit like it was throughout the year. We were an irregular, weak team, they beat us by intensity and they score easy goals . we shouldn't ", analyzed the Flea.
Even Messi evaded the reference to the delay in the extension of his contract, which expires in mid-2021 and negotiations with the club are frozen, and said that this is the time to attend that "people are sure to be very hot and angry for what happened this season, and it is normal because we are too. "
That is why the continuity of coach Quique Setién once the league is over is not guaranteed, nor is the possibility that the coach be replaced before facing the last leg of the Champions League.
Ién Setién: "You have to finish with good feelings" # AlavésBarça pic.twitter.com/N4EUM7pI82- FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) July 18, 2020
Setién took over at Barça on January 14, replacing the dismissed Ernesto Valverde, who was dismissed after losing in the semifinal of the Spanish Super Cup against Atlético de Madrid, in Saudi Arabia.
He led 22 games since he took office, in which he obtained 69.7 percent of the points at stake . He suffered four defeats: against Valencia, Real Madrid and Osasuna in the League, and against Athletic Bilbao in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey.
In addition to not having had Uruguayan Luis Suárez in several games, due to injury, Setién also did not enjoy a Messi in his best scoring version, despite having exceeded in this period the figure of the 700 official conquests in his career : the captain scored 12 goals with this coach, and four he did in the 5-0 against Eibar. In the ten matches after the restart, he only made four, and two were penalties.
Messi and Setién in training. It is not a time for laughter. Photo: Barcelona.
Anyway, Leo's commitment was seen in his active participation in the ten games in 33 days that were played so far in Spain , with a very tight schedule due to the need to end the competition on July 19.
For Alavés, beating Barcelona is always a motivation , which is why the albiazules, released after obtaining permanence last day, will try to conclude with victory a season that was complicated after the confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic. Anyway, coach Juan Ramón López Muñiz will take advantage of the meeting to rotate and reward players who have worked with the team and have not had their chance.