There is hardly a better place to feel the temperature of FC Barcelona than El Kiosko Universal – a restaurant in the famous Boquería market, which is located directly on the central promenade of Rambla. There is a lot of shop talked about FC Barcelona every day; A few people from the club’s immediate vicinity come there – and gradually tourists again. The landlord Antonio not only served the guests from Germany, who came for the Champions League game on Tuesday, with fine sea creatures. But also a healthy dose of defeatism. “Well? Come here to make fun of us?” Well, the Bavarian humor was limited on the muggy Tuesday evening. But it was a clear and deserved 3-0 defeat.
The Catalans’ premature faint-heartedness was not played. The once great FC Barcelona is a completely disheveled club that has not even gotten over the recent past. Anyone who looked around hours before the game in the fan shop on the Travessera de Les Corts – one of the access roads to Camp Nou – had the impression of having ended up in an outlet shop.
Barça jerseys that were flocked with the big names of recent years were offered for sale. Which means nothing else than that the shirts with the names of Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suárez and especially Lionel Messi still go better than shirts by Eric García or Luuk de Jong. Although Griezmann, Suárez and Messi have long been playing elsewhere. Oh, Messi: On December 7th, 2004 he made his Champions League debut at Barça, but on Tuesday he was preparing for his first premier league appearance with the French with Paris Saint-Germain, at Club Bruges. Was he sitting at the TV screen?
If so, he would hardly have noticed that the stadium looked more starved than Rocinante, Don Quixote’s rattle horse. Some television pictures are deceptive. The local authorities allowed up to 40,000 spectators, less than half the capacity; 39,737 came in the end. They rubbed their eyes at first: FC Barcelona actually looked like a team that you can go to the door with. Only it didn’t last long.
Coach Ronald Koeman is crossed with the presidium
The longer the game lasted, the more Barça looked in their own stadium like a team that Bayern had recruited for a pre-season game. At Camp Nou, however, the feeling soon spread that Bayern were showing piety, that they did not want to abuse the authority with which they ruled the game. The 2-0 win by Robert Lewandowski (56th) was just the signal for the larger part of the Barcelona appendix to settle the bills. Luuk de Jong and Sergio Roberto had to endure loud whistling concerts when they were replaced. Sergio Roberto not only because of his poor performance, but also because he has not yet consented to the pay cut on which the billion-dollar indebted club is dependent.
And coach Ronald Koeman? Crosses the presidium. There were skirmishes between the Dutch coach and board members well into matchday, and it was all the more remarkable that Koeman put on a five-man chain with three center-backs. President Joan Laporta has publicly stated that he believes a 4-3-3 system is in style. Koeman is under pressure; he protects himself by betting on the youth. He replaced Yusuf Demir and Gavi, Óscar Mingueza and at the end of the 17-year-old left-back Alex Balde. They were celebrated like the harbingers of a glimmer of hope.
But when Bayern pushed the ball towards each other after Lewandowski had scored the third Bayern goal, only the Munich tourists could be heard, and their Olé calls sounded like mockery not only in Antonio’s ears.