FC Barcelona: 6 Reasons the Blaugrana Will Bounce Back Next Season
There is no denying that Barcelona's 2011-12 season did not pan out the way any Catalan had in mind.
With a team that many believed to be among the greatest in the history of club football, the Blaugrana were unable to win either La Liga or the Champions League after winning both in 2010-11.
To add to the misery, manager Pep Guardiola departed the team after one of the most successful stints in charge of any club in history.
The loss of Guardiola and Barca's disappointing season combine to cast a small cloud of doubt over the team's future.
However, there are also equally compelling factors which point to a bright future for Barcelona—factors that point to potential dominance akin to the 2010-11 season.
Here are the six reasons FC Barcelona will bounce back next season.
David Villa Returns
As strange as it seems, high-scoring Barcelona greatly missed David Villa this past season.
Sure, Messi was able to put in 73 goals for the Blaugrana, but that merely compensated for the fact that Barcelona's second highest scorer had just 15 goals.
In 2010-11, Messi's 53 goals in all competitions was complemented by Villa's 23 goals.
Also, Villa's sharpshooting and ability to score from outside of the box lent another dimension to Barcelona's game, a dimension that may have helped them this season (especially against Chelsea).
David Villa's near year-long recovery and absence from Euro 2012 should have him healthy and ready to play come next season.
His return will be huge for his club.
Superstars Still There
When a team has three of the best players in the world, who have built chemistry with each other and have shown no signs of lagging, it is hard to hold them down.
That is the situation Barcelona find themselves in, with Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta making up the core of the side.
Messi's goal totals have become inconceivable, Xavi's passing totals are incredible and Iniesta continually shows up for and plays best at the biggest moments in the biggest games.
These three will be nearly impossible to hold down this season, especially given the fact that they failed last season.
Not Too Far off Last Season
Yes, Barcelona fell short in both La Liga and the Champions League this season.
But don't be fooled. The Blaugrana were so close to achieving all of their goals.
After all, before one week in late April, Barca had a distinct chance to grab both their domestic and European league titles.
Finishing second in La Liga and in the semifinals of the Champions League, as disappointing as it might be, is by no means an awful result.
If a few balls had bounced their way, this article would have been about why Barca are the best team ever.
They lost out last season, but Barca were close enough that there is no reason not to think they will be back next year.
Tito Vilanova as New Manager
Pep Guardiola's departure from the club is certainly a concern for the future, but it's not like Barca is giving the job to a complete stranger.
New manager Tito Vilanova has been Guardiola's assistant since Pep was managing Barcelona B.
Hence, Vilanova has certainly built a relationship with the players and will probably have their respect.
Further, with Guardiola's success occurring right in front of his eyes, Vilanova would have to be a fool not to have realized what tactics are and are not successful with this side.
Guardiola may be gone and Vilanova may be unproven as a manager, but there is no need to panic with this change.
Barcelona has the opportunity to just keep getting better through the transfer market this summer.
The Catalans have shown eyes toward Tottenham's Gareth Bale, who would instantly be the first-choice left full-back and a huge upgrade.
Jordi Alba provides another option and has a good chance to be at Barca soon.
Do not be surprised if the rich get richer this summer.
There is no denying that Jose Mourinho is a fantastic manager.
This past season, he finally got the better of Barca, leading Real Madrid to the La Liga title.
However, looking at his managerial history may provide a bit of hope to Barcelona supporters.
Mourinho has stayed at the same club for more than two years only once. That was at Chelsea, where he spent a little over three seasons.
In his first two years at Chelsea, Mourinho won two Premier League titles and led the club into a new era of greatness.
However, after some public spats with his owner and the English media, Mourinho failed to win the Premier League in his third season and mutually parted ways with the club in the September of his fourth season.
Now, Mourinho has been involved in a few public spats with Madrid's owner and media.
If his time with Chelsea is any indication, Mourinho's next season with Madrid may not follow the upward swing of his first two, reducing the threat of Barcelona's biggest competition.
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