Barcelona Team of the season 2020-21: Griezmann, Messi feature

Barcelona's Spanish defender Oscar Mingueza (C) celebrates with Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets (L), Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi and Barcelona's Spanish defender Jordi Alba (back R) (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)
Barcelona's Spanish defender Oscar Mingueza (C) celebrates with Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets (L), Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi and Barcelona's Spanish defender Jordi Alba (back R) (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Sergio Busquets of FC Barcelona celebrates with his teammates Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong of FC Barcelona. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images) /


Left wing back: Jordi Alba

Jordi Alba is the undisputed selection in this position. Junior Firpo comes nowhere close to displacing the Spaniard. Alba was deemed as a footballer on a downhill trajectory after last season. The former Valencia man was fading into a shadow of himself but Alba’s resurgence has been nothing short of spectacular.

On his best days, he can be the biggest difference-maker after a certain Argentine in the squad. Through his attacking runs in the final third and ability to cut back and cross, Alba has given Barca a huge edge in several games from the left flank. Alba registered 15 assists across all competitions, making him the assist leader for Barca this season.

Midfield: Sergio Busquets

Questions were raised on Sergio Busquets too. He was regarded as too slow to function in the team and his struggles continued in the initial part of the season, further raising doubts among the fans. However, a change in formation and turn of the year transformed Busquets’ season.

The Spaniard was back to his best, breaking down opposition play, making the team tick and keep the ball rolling. In games Barcelona looked flawless, Busquets controlled the tempo of the game and elevated the midfield. He was not easily pressed or forced into mistakes. While Frenkie de Jong has garnered a lot of praises for his role under Koeman, Busquets silently continues to sparkle gold dust.

Midfield: Frenkie de Jong

Frenkie de Jong also makes it to the team of the season without any competition. The Dutchman has been a tireless titan in the Barcelona team who simply keeps of defying the physical and mental limits.

De Jong has played 51 games (playing 4472 minutes if 4590) throughout the season, contributing 7 goals and 8 assists. The player also spent a brief amount of time in the defence, playing in the libero role, excelling in that role too.

In midfield, de Jong has had support from Busquets which gave him the freedom to surge forward and use his unparalleled spatial awareness and exemplary vision in the middle of the park. De Jong has orchestrated several roles with alarming ease.

Midfield: Pedri

Barcelona’s crown jewel Pedri has gone from an exuberant and exciting starlet to one of the first names on the team sheet and all within a span of a season. Pedri has been the heartbeat of the midfield, especially in the creative sense.

Barcelona midfield which once housed legends like Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Pep Guardiola and other gems had invited a lot of criticism in recent times for its inadequacies. It’s a fact that Barcelona tends to do well when they have an imaginative and smoothly functioning midfield. Pedri’s arrival gives Barcelona fans hope that the golden days that they experienced during the Iniesta-Xavi-Busquets era can be relived.

The player made 52 appearances in his debut season and has impressed at several levels. He jumped several first-team players in the pecking order and is an imaginative tank for the team. If his debut season is anything to go by, Pedri has a long future with the club and can aid the club to achieve greater heights.

Right wing back: Sergino Dest

For years Barcelona’s right back department was in a questionable state. Nelson Semedo and Aleix Vidal had miserably failed. Sergi Roberto wasn’t your ideal right-back option. The summer of 2021 saw the arrival of a young, promising, agile right back in form of Sergino Dest from Ajax.

The USMNT star had a turbulent start to the Barca career with the 20-year-old struggling to cope with the Barca style. Just when it felt that the right-back conundrum will continue to give a headache to the Barcelona hierarchy, Dest’s metamorphosis happened. The player started feeling more and more comfortable and at ease in the lineup, especially after the formation change.

Soon the 20-year-old was seen marauding forward and making perfectly timed forward runs. His attacking qualities were on exhibition as he used his pace and dribbling skills to ferry past defenders and use his crossing abilities to launch the ball in dangerous areas.

Roberto has played second fiddle to the USMNT player for many parts of the season and will continue to be a secondary choice if Dest performs as per expectations.