No-one can write off FC Barcelona. Despite his advancing years, Messi remains mercurial and with a player of his ability at their disposal, Barca always have a chance to continue their successful run of La Liga titles. However, a combination of an ageing squad, five seasons of mainly poor player recruitment and an over-dependence on Messi mean Barca’s era of domination in La Liga may be over during the next 2/3 seasons at least.
Real were always going to suffer when Cristiano Ronaldo departed for Juventus, a departing player of his ability leaving any club will have an impact. However, a La Liga title in only the second season after Ronaldo’s departure and after finishing 21 points adrift of Barca last season will represent a great triumph for Los Blancos. It indicates Real are gradually adapting to life after Ronaldo. An argument strengthened by encouraging signs from a finally fit Hazard, a returning Asensio and the emergence of young talent such as Vinicius and Valverde.
It is important to remember Barca within 2/3 seasons will have to face up to life after Messi themselves. The aforementioned discussed factors above give little confidence they will manage the post-Messi years successfully. It leaves the door open for Real to dominate La Liga over the next few seasons.
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