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Five key figures in FC Barcelona’s LaLiga Santander title win

THESE are the main men who led the Blaugrana to LaLiga Santander glory for the first time since 2019.

FC Barcelona have won their 27th LaLiga Santander title, their first league championship in four years. The last time they secured the domestic title was back in 2018/19 when Ernesto Valverde’s FC Barcelona was led by club legend Lionel Messi all the way to glory. Neither Valverde nor Messi is currently at the Blaugrana, but there are other stars who have stepped up and helped the team end their title drought.

Here comes a look at five of these key figures in FC Barcelona’s LaLiga Santander title success in 2022/23.


Xavi Hernández

Just a few months after FC Barcelona parted ways with Messi, his former teammate Xavi Hernández was appointed by the Blaugrana in their bid to get back to winning ways after a below-par start to the 2021/22 campaign. The Xavi effect was not immediate, but the Catalan coach improved the team little by little, putting together a side that is considered deserved league winners, having clinched this title with four games to go. After leading the team to eight league trophies as a player in the past, Xavi returned home to inspire FC Barcelona to another title from the dugout.


Robert Lewandowski

Poland international Lewandowski didn’t hesitate to assume the role of leader at FC Barcelona from the off. “It’s a challenge for me,” Lewandowski said at the press conference at his presentation. “I want to show my best abilities on the pitch and push the rest of the players to be better thanks to my experience. I am not only thinking about myself but also the performance of the whole team. I can help with my experience, not just with my play but also with my words.” Lewandowski did indeed help players such as Gavi or Raphinha develop by his side, quickly developing connections with them, while the centre-forward consistently opened space for FC Barcelona forwards to exploit by pulling opposition defenders out of position. Not only has Lewandowski helped FC Barcelona bounce back by being a good link-up man, but his 21 goals have allowed the LaLiga Santander champions to secure many crucial points in their bid to clinch the trophy.

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Ronald Araújo

Once upon a time, Carles Puyol passed the baton to Gerard Piqué and, following the latter’s decision to hang up his boots earlier this season, Araújo has stepped up to become the new leader of FC Barcelona’s defence. Considered by many as one of the finest centre-backs in Europe this season, Araújo has stood out for his passion, pace, positioning, leadership, aerial prowess and ability to contain world-class forwards. Having been used both at right-back and in the middle of defence by Xavi, Araújo delivered each and every time he was asked to fulfil a task. The Uruguayan centre-back played a pivotal role in turning a struggling FC Barcelona backline into the most solid defence across the major European leagues.


Gavi

The prodigious midfielder literally played wherever Xavi needed him to be on the pitch. Used in midfield, he formed one of the strongest tridents in Europe alongside Sergio Busquets and Pedri. When he played up front alongside Lewandowski, Gavi recorded numerous ball recoveries in the final third by helping with FC Barcelona’s pressure high up the pitch while also contributing to his team’s attempts to dictate the tempo and circulate the ball smoothly in the final third. Aged 18, Gavi has demonstrated with his maturity on the pitch that he has what it takes to become an FC Barcelona legend.


Marc-André ter Stegen

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On the very rare occasions where opposition forwards found ways to break through Xavi’s four-man backline, the Blaugrana were aware that they could count on an extraordinary Marc-André ter Stegen. The FC Barcelona goalkeeper has managed to keep as many as 25 clean sheets in 34 games so far this season. Ter Stegen may have not been forced to intervene on too many occasions due to FC Barcelona’s dominance on the pitch in the vast majority of their games, but, when he did so, he produced some epic saves to help his team earn crucial points.

By The African Mirror

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