FC Barcelona's Off Season Acquisitions

Brandon McCallumCorrespondent IJuly 25, 2008

After FC Barcelona's mediocre season—finishing third in the Spanish League and losing in the UEFA Champions league semi-finals to Manchester United—manager Josep Guardiola was bound to make some changes to the club.

The most shocking thing the club did this past off season was deal Ronaldihno away to AC Milan for 21 million plus 4 million in bonuses.

This was not such a bad decision, because now they have much more freedom to sign other players. That is just what they did.

The signing of Seydou Keita was the first of the off-season. Keita previously played for Seville, and he is still currently playing with his national team, Mali.

This trade was followed by Gerard Pique coming back to place where he started his professional career; he plays center back or midfield. Next came the Uruguayan product Martin Caceres, who plays a defensive position as well.

After Caceres, Barcelona signed defender Daniel Alves of Sevilla. He will be the greatest defensive acquisition of the club. Next thing the club did was say good-bye to Ronaldihno to AC Milan.

Immediately after that came the monster four-year signing of Alexander Hleb from Arsenal. The Belorussian midfielder will basically take the place of Ronaldihno.

The team signed a few defenders and a couple of midfielders, giving them lots of depth on the back end and keeping the middle strong. In case a defence player must go play with his national team, they will have equal talent to replace him.

I think FC Barcelona is going to finish first in the Spanish League ahead of Real Madrid. In the Champions League, I think the club will lose out in the semi-finals once again, which may or may not disappoint Josep Guardiola.