Barcelona last won the Champions League in 2014-15, and manager Xavi will be hoping to bring the Big Ears back to Camp Nou this season.
The Catalans ended last season without any piece of silverware with 73 point spreads, with their last La Liga title coming in 2018-19.
The 2020-21 Copa del Rey is the last trophy they won, and while they had the chance to land a first Europa League honour last season after suffering the ignominy of failing to make it out of the Champions League group stages, Barca were dumped out in the quarter-finals by eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt.
The Spanish giants have gone out with all guns blazing this summer, though, spending over £135million on transfers thus far – the most by any club in Europe.
Xavi wants to win it all this season as he did in his last season as a Barca player, but is that possible despite the marquee additions to his squad?
While Denmark international centre-back Andreas Christensen and Ivory Coast international defensive midfielder Franck Kessie joined them on a free from Chelsea and AC Milan, the others did not come on a cheap.
Brazilian attacker Raphinha cost them £55million, rejecting other Premier League suitors to join them from Leeds United.
They splashed £38million on Robert Lewandowski, managing to convince Bayern Munich into doing a deal for the wantaway Poland international striker after several weeks of talks and negotiations.
France international centre-back Jules Kounde also joined Barcelona from Sevilla for an initial £42million, with £4.2million spent on Spain youth international Pablo Torre after he showed his potential at Racing Santander.
For a club with a £1.1billion debt hanging on their necks, Barca are taking a lot of financial risks just to sign players that can boost their chances across all competitions in 2022-23.
After becoming the club’s main sponsors and earning the naming rights to Camp Nou, Spotify parted with some cash that came in handy for Barcelona and will continue to do so for a couple of years, but it was the club’s decision to sacrifice future income for an immediate cash injection that helped them get their deals over the line.
La Blaugrana sold ten per cent of their La Liga TV rights for the next 25 years to private equity company Sixth Street, generating £230million of revenue for this season’s accounts, with the initial investment worth £179million for a share of the club’s TV rights.
24.5 percent of their studio’s arm was also sold to blockchain-enabled fan token platform Socios.com for £84million in order to speed up the club’s audiovisual, blockchain, NFT and Web.3 strategy.
Despite all these, Barcelona still need to free up funds as they are unable to register Kounde due to La Liga’s strict Financial Fair Play rules.
Given all the stress they have gone through, it will be a colossal disaster if they fail to reap the rewards.
Christensen, Lewandowski and Raphinha have already hit the ground running this season, establishing themselves as key players in Xavi’s plans.
Kessie is expected to also perform well once he fully settles down and starts playing regularly, while Kounde is expected to walk into the starting XI soon once he starts to see action.
Barca have drawn one and won one so far this season, but do they really have what it takes to pip Real Madrid to the La Liga?
The Champions League and La Liga defending champions have won two out of the last three titles. Atletico Madrid won the other, and it will take a lot for Barca to take the title away from the Spanish capital.
The likes of Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain are also standing in their way to a sixth Champions League title odds to bet on, and they have got their work cut out for them.
They could still end up bolstering their squad with one or two additions, while players’ sales are also anticipated before the window shuts, but Barca will need to do much more to have a chance of challenging for major silverware this season.
Xavi is no Pep Guardiola, but he needs to get his tactics right before and in every game if he wants to lead his beloved team to glory.
He already has the players, but does he have the technical know-how to turn them into a winning machine?