It seems that fate will force Barcelona to meet again against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
The Catalans have a chance to put the monkey off their backs and start a new chapter in the club’s history if they can prove to themselves that they can compete with the best in Europe once again.
Last season, the victory over Real Madrid was the first sign of a return to Barcelona under the leadership of Xavi.
But Bayern Munich is another story because Barcelona is still looking for revenge for the 8-2 defeat that pushed the club to collapse.
A year ago, Thomas Muller commented that Barcelona lacked the sharpness needed to compete in Europe’s biggest competition. Under Ronald Koeman, a sense of fatalism was sinking in that the best Barcelona could do was limit damage, and a lifeless performance in the group stage was the last straw that heralded the arrival of a new coach.
A year later, Xavi is the coach, and Robert Lewandowski is the star. Barcelona invested heavily to be able to win titles now.
On Tuesday, we all need to commit, as we are about to see if this Barcelona squad is mentally ready to embrace the pressure that comes with such high expectations.
Barcelona must put up a lively performance with every intent to defeat the Bayern Munich team that has humiliated them over the past few seasons.
Fortunately for them, Lewandowski is now on their side, and he will be excited and motivated to take the fight to a club he was willing to get rid of.
Barcelona has given Poland a new international life, a man on a mission to reward their trust.
The other difference now is the form of Ousmane Dembele and the addition of Rafinha.
This time, Bayern Munich will be in their full hands to defend the threat down the wings.
Dembele has a chance to prove to the world, and France coach Didier Deschamps, that he is one of the best wingers in Europe and can make the difference in the Champions League.
Ravenha has made a huge impact this season already, so it’s surprising to see him look so upset every time he’s off the field. The Brazilian will be keen to showcase his talents as well.
Alphonso Davies, the unstoppable force of the previous encounters, will have a tougher task this time around.
There is no doubt that Xavi will look to close it by playing either Jules Conde or Ronald Araujo as right-back.
This Barcelona defense is more solid and organised, with Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba being sacrificed for smaller, more physical alternatives.
Bayern Munich will not find its way in front of goal this time. They will find it more difficult with Araujo, Conde and Christensen standing in their way.
More so when you consider their struggle to find the heart of an alternative striker for Lewandowski.
Despite a strong performance against Inter Milan last week, the Bavarians were not at their best in the Bundesliga, as they recently fell on points against Stuttgart on Saturday.
Barcelona should take advantage of his good form, his opponent’s struggle, and be tough against Bayern Munich.
The Catalans score goals with ease, and their system starts to click, especially with Xavi’s start favored by eleven.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side is still struggling to get together before his second year as a coach.
If Barcelona returns, as we all hope, this is their golden opportunity to prove it.
They are in the group of death, and they have a chance to beat them, then build the momentum needed to become champions again.
It’s time to be brave, trust each other and put on a show the way only Barcelona knows.
The world will be watching to see if Barcelona can enter the lion’s den and defeat the Bavarian giants.
The leadership of Xavi and Lewandowski made them ready to do just that.