Neymar verá a sus compañeros en la grada del Parque de los Príncipes

A 222 million euro stress test

OPINION

@ErnestFolch

What to do with 222 million euros? 

Barcelona now have a problem similar to someone who's walking down the street with a huge bag of money having just robbed a bank: everyone knows they've got cash and everyone wants some of it. 

The club have a lot of money to make signings now but things are going to be difficult to manage. Players that were worth 70 or 80 million, like Coutinho and Dembele, now have price tags of around 100 million. The club have to distinguish between their image (buy quickly to recover from the painful loss of Neymar) and their intelligence, which is not to make rushed signings just for the sake of it. Because the last time the club had this kind of money, the 10,000 million pesetas for Figo, they famously blew it in London on Overmars and Petit. 

The 222 million euros puts to the test Bartomeu's board, who after a few years of comfort now find themselves in their moment of truth. It's not enough to keep things ticking over with what they now; they're now entering the unknown. Without Neymar, but with a lot of money to reconstruct the squad. 

The post-Guardiolismo narrative, which was the one the magic of the trident was built upon, has jumped up in the air in just ten days, the time that elapsed between that the club saying Neymar would not leave and his departure from the club. Barça are today at an historic crossroads, halfway between the petrodollars and their usual football, bewildered and seeking their own way. The celebrated 222 million will serve as a stress test to test the club's ability to reinvent itself in a global world. Everything is much more complex than deciding who you want to sign and for how much.

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