Barcelona began their Champions League campaign without Lionel Messi with a heavy defeat to Bundesliga outfit Bayern Munich, thanks to a goal from Thomas Muller and a brace from Robert Lewandowski.
It was not the heaviest defeat Barcelona have suffered at the hands of the Bavarian side, having lost 8-2 in the Champions League last time out, but it was perhaps the most symbolic. Gerard Pique admitted that the Blaugrana were nowhere near the required level after the game, and was quick to point out the number of inexperienced players fielded by Ronald Koeman out of necessity.
However, Barcelona are in a rebuilding stage, and if they can continue to shift their high earners, may be able to progress in the coming seasons.
It seems that things are set to get worse before they get better for Ronald Koeman’s side, however. This comes as four of their most important players missed team training on Wednesday, with at least two expected to be sidelined for several weeks.
As per Toni Juanmarti, full-back Jordi Alba and midfield sensation Pedri both suffered muscle injuries versus Bayern, which will keep them out for some time.
Worse yet, both Gerard Pique and Memphis Depay trained alone, though the club have not made any comment on their current injury status.
Losing all four for any period of time would stretch an already threadbare Barca squad, and could see them make an early bow out of the La Liga title race.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.