From Conquerors to Losers: Barcelona, Man Utd Set For Trophyless Season

CC0 / MaxPixel's contributors / Ball Goal Football
Ball Goal Football - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.04.2022
Barcelona and Man United are two of the biggest clubs in Europe, having dominated Spanish and English football respectively. While the Catalans have won the La Liga 26 times, the Red Devils have come out on top in Great Britain's premier domestic tournament on a record 20 occasions.
Not long ago, Barcelona and Manchester United were all-conquering football clubs, winning everything that was on offer in the sport. But their world has turned upside down this year with both the Catalan and English outfits set for a trophy-less season.
While United's struggles have not just been well documented but strongly condemned as well by fans, pundits and former players, including legends like Rio Ferdinand, Barcelona are still reeling from the after-effects of their talismanic skipper Lionel Messi's departure last summer.
United are no longer in contention in any domestic tournament and have already exited from the UEFA Champions League.
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the English Premier League soccer match between Norwich City and Manchester United at Carrow road in Norwich, England, Saturday, Dec.11, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.02.2022
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Talking about the Old Trafford-based club's performances this term, they are currently lying in seventh spot in the Premier League, 23 points adrift of table toppers Man City. City are at 74 points after 31 games, while Ralf Rangnick's men have just 51.
Cristiano Ronaldo and company were eliminated in the Round of 16 of Europe's top club competition after being beaten by reigning Spanish champs Atletico Madrid last month.
United were dumped from the FA Cup in the fourth round by Championship side Middlesbrough earlier this year. On the other hand, in the Carabao Cup their journey ended in the third round, having been defeated by West Ham in September 2021.
Like the Red Devils, Barca are set to end their 2021-22 campaign without any kind of silverware, having suffered a shock defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the quarter-finals of the Europa League on Thursday.
The loss against the Germans came as a complete surprise to the Blaugrana supporters, considering Xavi's men were on a 15-match undefeated run.
Though their defeat against the Bundesliga side was unexpected, Barca's struggles in previous events, since the beginning of this term, were not anticipated because it relied too heavily on Lionel Messi to deliver the results.
When he left for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), there was a huge void left in the squad and the Spaniards began to struggle to even achieve draws, leave aside victories.
The biggest setback for Barcelona came in the form of their relegation to the Europa League in August 2021 after finishing third in their Champions League group.
In the Spanish Super Cup, Barcelona lost to eventual champions Real Madrid in the semifinals, whereas Xavi's team were beaten by Athletic Club in the Round of 16 of the Copa del Rey.
Despite experiencing one jolt after another in the present season, Xavi has managed to bring back some sense of semblance to the club and that's why they currently sit on the second spot in the La Liga.
But with just eight more games to go in the tournament, their chances of overhauling Real's 12-point lead atop the charts look bleak. At the moment, Carlo Ancelotti's side has 72 points after 31 matches, while Barca have 60 with a game in hand.
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