FC Barcelona: 5 Bold Predictions for 2012
This article sounds easy but is in fact a nightmare to write.
The trouble is the word "bold," which suggests courage and daring.
Bold predictions and Barcelona don't often go hand in hand because at the end of the day, they're capable of winning any cup competition they enter or signing any player on the planet.
So where do I go from here?
How do I make bold predictions for Barcelona in 2012? Yep, me either!
The only route is controversy, which ultimately upsets people, so I've tried not to go too far in my predictions.
Some slides are clearly more likely to happen than others, but one thing about football is that you never really can predict anything.
Barcelona Won't Win La Liga
Yeah, you heard me. This season is all about Mourinho's Real Madrid.
Mourinho will probably go down in history as one of the greatest coaches who's ever lived.
It doesn't matter whether you like him or not, his home record is unbelievable. Mourinho went 150 home matches undefeated whilst coaching at FC Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. His run came to an end when Sporting Gijon beat Real Madrid 0-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
Mourinho won the Primeira Division twice with Porto, the Premier League twice with Chelsea and Serie A twice with Inter Milan.
Chances are he will win La Liga at some point and Real currently top the table, so why not this season?
Barcelona Won't Make the Champions League Final
Due to the odds involved of a team actually making the Champions League final, you might be wondering why this is a bold prediction at all.
Take into account that Barcelona have won the competition twice in the past three seasons, and that they are the current holders and you might begin to see where I'm coming from.
Williamhill.com are offering short odds of 6/4 on Barcelona winning the competition outright.
Pep Guardiola Leaves
David Ramos/Getty Images
One thing that drives Guardiola is success, so much so that he has only signed a year's contract with the Catalan giants.
Should Barcelona lose their La Liga crown to Real Madrid this year, then Guardiola may decide to move on. Former Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff claims he has already found a replacement for Guardiola.
Perhaps his time is coming to an end.
David Villa Will Never Play for the Club Again
David Villa is a top-class striker and recent rumours suggest he was looking to move on following his recent omission from the starting lineup.
One leg break later and Villa won't be playing for anyone for six months or more.
By that time, who knows which players Barcelona may have signed? That may precipitate Villa seeking pitch time elsewhere.
Carlos Puyol Will Retire from International Football
David Ramos/Getty Images
Spain's national team has strength in depth and Puyol could find himself surplus to requirements after the Euro 2012 tournament.
If that happens, I would expect Puyol to call time on a great international career.
Puyol has a Facebook page in his honour in which he has apparently stated he will play until he's 40 if it reaches 250,000 fans.
If I'm honest, the La Liga title is too close to call this season and it will likely come down to whichever team wins the head-to-head matches.
The rest of the slides are anybody's guess as to whether they come true, but when you're asked to make bold predictions about Barcelona, it's certainly not easy.
The fact is I can see Barcelona winning all competitions they enter this season and I've not seen any other club looking like they could halt that progress without a slice of good fortune.
Only time will tell whether any of these predictions will come true, but I'm sure Jose Mourinho's boys will be hoping to prove me right, and I certainly wouldn't be complaining if Kenny Dalglish made slide No. 4 happen!
Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas.
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