The beginning of the end for the Golden boys?

 

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It was only two seasons ago that Barcelona secured the Champions League crown at Wembley showcasing some of the most attractive football ever witnessed. The Spanish generation featuring Xavi, Iniesta and Puyol were at the peak of their powers and future success was forecast.

2013 brought massive European disappoint for the Catalan giants with a semi-final pummelling at the hands of Bayern Munich.  But the defeat made clear that the powers of the Spaniards were on the slide and a new superpower, branding a new style was taking over.

It is a trend in footballing history that great teams begin to fade but how can Barcelona reign supreme again?

The last 24 months have certainly shown a heavy reliance on Lionel Messi, with the team game falling by the side the individual brilliance has carried the team to results.  The new unit needs to be built around the little Argentine and the arrival of future stars such as Neymar demonstrates the need for fresh talent.

But it may be premature to write off the likes of Xavi just yet. In much the same vein as Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs adapted their games with age, he must learn to use his experience and protect his aging legs.

It is also worth noting that age is not the only factor for a team that appears to be outside their prime. Barcelona managed to win everything during the highly successful spell and perhaps the hunger faded.

Only time will tell if we have actually seen the end of the famous Spanish passing within this generation, Barcelona are club steeped in history and the next generation may just be around the corner.

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