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MESSIGEDDON

Remembering Barcelona’s first season without Lionel Messi

The year is 2021 and Barcelona have just finished their first season since Lionel Messi's move back to Newell's Old Boys

The Sopranos. Cryptocurrency. The Walmart yodelling kid. All good things have to come to an end.

On 1 June 2020, the best thing to ever happen to Barcelona, nay, football, came to an end.

Don’t worry, Lionel Messi didn’t die. But he did leave Barcelona to move back to Newell’s Old Boys.

Look away now Barca fans

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Look away now Barca fans

By doing so he completed an OCD sufferer’s dream. Newell’s- Barcelona- Newell’s.

But how well do you remember Barcelona’s first Messi-less season?

Memory feeling a bit foggy after a night bingeing on Champions League football? We’ve got you covered.

Barcelona went heavy with their Messi tribute by beaming a hologram of his face onto the Nou Camp pitch

Getty Images - Getty
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Barcelona went heavy with their Messi tribute by beaming a hologram of his face onto the Nou Camp pitch

Messi’s replacement

Mohamed Salah’s failure to replicate his stunning 2017/18 season- when he won the Premier League golden boot- meant he dropped off Barcelona’s radar.

Instead Barcelona managed to get revenge for Luis Figo, twenty years after the Portuguese winger moved to Real Madrid.

Barcelona announced the signing of Marco Asensio on a free contract, much to the dismay of Madrid who threatened to join PSG and Man City in the Qatari Premier League.

The first El Clasico between the two was a feisty affair, with Asensio having to dodge hundreds of iPhone 15s when going over to take corners.

However the Spaniard had the last laugh when he set up John Stones’ winning goal.

The first defender to win the Ballon d’Or since Fabio Cannavaro

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The first defender to win the Ballon d’Or since Fabio Cannavaro

Getting shirty

Barcelona surprised no one when they retired Messi’s no.10 shirt.

However if Thiago, Mateo or Ciro ever step out in the Barcelona colours they’ll be allowed to take their father’s number.

Ousmane Dembele paid his own unique tribute to the GOAT when he changed his squad number from 11 to 100.

Best tribute act since Steps 2

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Best tribute act since Steps 2

La Liga

Far from falling off, Barcelona coasted to the 2020/21 La Liga title.

Andres Iniesta’s first title as player-manager was richly deserved, although Madrid’s Harry Kane still pipped Roberto Firmino to La Liga’s top goalscorer award.

Both lost out in the race for the European Golden Boot to Jamie Vardy who, like a fine port drunk out of a Lucozade bottle, keeps getting better with age.

When you haven’t had your fix of port

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When you haven’t had your fix of port

Champions League

Barcelona’s Champions League campaign was less successful.

Iniesta’s side weren’t handed a great start when they were drawn in a ‘Group of Death’ along with Salford City, RB Leipzig and Red Bull Rangers.

Home and away defeats to eventual winners Red Bull Rangers did for Barcelona in the end.

Watching former Barcelona idol Neymar thrive in both games couldn’t have been nice for players or fans, especially when he provided a triple nutmeg assist for Kenny Miller at Ibrox.

The best team in world football

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The best team in world football

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