Barcelona 2019/20 Review: End of Season Report Card for La Blaugrana

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi reflects on his side's humbling at the hands of Bayern Munich | Pool/Getty Images

Two managers, no silverware, your bitter rivals beat you to the league title and your most expensive ever player scores two against you to knock you out of the Champions League. It's not been the best season for anyone connected with Barcelona.

The Barça hierarchy are already rumoured to be discussing the future of Quique Setién following their embarrassing 8-2 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich - in truth it's a surprise he even emerged for the second half.

The humbling signalled the end of a truly abject season by Barcelona standards, and perhaps the end of an era, with the need for change clear for all to see.

So, with the curtain drawn on La Blaugrana's 2019/20 campaign, it's time for 90min to review their, erm, underwhelming season. (Spoiler alert - they don't get an A+).

League Performance

La Liga - 2nd

Quique Setien
Quique Setién's side finished five points behind rivals Madrid | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

While a second-place finish in the top flight would be envied by most clubs in world football, it's no secret that first is first and second is nowhere when you play for a club like Barcelona.

Their league campaign stuttered from the off, with a shock opening-day defeat at the hands of Athletic Club setting the tone for a miserable season.

By the time Ernesto Valverde's side had played 11 La Liga games, they'd already amassed as many defeats as they suffered in the whole of their triumphant 2018/19 league season.

Lionel Messi
Despite finishing top scorer in the league, Messi couldn't spearhead his club to La Liga glory | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Valverde's departure in January saw Setién arrive at Camp Nou, though the managerial change did little to alter their fortunes. A 2-0 defeat at the hands of Los Blancos prior to lockdown dealt a huge blow to their title credentials, with Zinedine Zidane's side putting together a run of ten consecutive wins to wrestle the title away from their rivals.

A La Liga campaign to forget in which the club suffered the most league defeats in a season since 2007/08.

Domestic Cup Performance

Copa del Rey - Quarter-Finals

Setién's second game in charge of the club saw him pick up his second win in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey, though Barça didn't have it all their own way against Spanish minnows Ibiza. A 94th minute Antoine Griezmann strike spared Setién's blushes as they progressed with a 2-1 win.

A routine 5-0 win over Leganés in the next round saw them advance to the quarter-final stage, though they suffered their second defeat of the season at the hands of Athletic Club to see them dumped out of the competition in the last eight.

Supercopa de España - Semi-Finals

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-ATLETICO MADRID
Despite his best efforts Messi was unable to prevent Barcelona crashing out at the hands of Atleti | LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

Relinquishing their La Liga title to Real Madrid will not have been easy, but to make things worse it was the second time they'd had to hand over a trophy to Zidane's men in 2019/20.

Having been crowned Supercopa de España winners in 2018/19, La Blaugrana fell at the first hurdle of this year's edition of the competition, as they were knocked out by Atletico Madrid following a 3-2 defeat thanks to two late Atleti strikes.

Continental Cup Performance

Champions League - Quarter-Finals

After five years of European misery and embarrassing exits from each of the last three editions of the competition, this was Barcelona's chance to right the wrongs of their recent past. Or not.

Their Champions League campaign started strongly, emerging as group winners from a tough draw which saw them pitted against Borussia Dortmund, Inter and Slavia Prague.

A solid 4-2 aggregate win over Serie A side Napoli saw them progress to the quarter-final stage, though there was nothing solid about their display against the Bavarians.

A humiliating 8-2 defeat at the hands of Die Roten saw them dumped out in catastrophic fashion for the fourth year running, with the defeat potentially costing Setién his job.

Best Player

Lionel Messi
Despite an unsuccessful campaign, Messi yet again clocked up impressive figures in front of goal | Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Even at 33 years of age it's impossible to look past the little magician Lionel Messi.

His 25 league goals may not have been enough to see the title remain at Camp Nou, though the figure was enough to see him sit top of the La Liga goalscoring charts.

To finish with 31 goals in all competitions and still not pick up a winner's medal is a bit of an injustice, and with speculation beginning to mount regarding the Argentinian's future at the club, it remains to be seen whether he'll be clocking up lofty figures for Barcelona again next season.

Shoutout to Gerard Pique - another old head in the Camp Nou dressing room who enjoyed an impressive campaign.

Worst Player

Junior Firpo, Rafinha
Junior Firpo has not enjoyed a good start to his Barcelona career | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Having arrived at the club from Real Betis for a potential fee of around €30m, Junior Firpo has not enjoyed an impressive start to his Barcelona career.

At just 23 years of age there's plenty of time for improvement, and in truth Barcelona need a rebuild and the addition of youth could be key. However, the Spain Under-21 international has done little to suggest he'll be a Camp Nou resident for too long and a move to Serie A is already being touted.

The Manager

Quique Setien
Questions are already being asked of Quique Setién just eight months into the job | Pool/Getty Images

Having to ask yourself 'which one do we start with' pretty much tells you everything you need to know about Barça's campaign.

Despite La Liga glory in his first two years at the club, Valverde's tenure came to an end in January even though Barcelona were top of the league.

The arrival of Setién clearly didn't have the desired impact and after just eight months at the club he too is potentially heading for the exit door. A miserable campaign for both of the Spanish tacticians.

Overall Grade

At a club where even finishing as Spanish champions doesn't guarantee you a place in the Barcelona fans' hearts for years to come, finishing with the trophy cabinet completely bare is a travesty.

Yet another season without Champions League glory and even worse another humiliating exit. 2019/20 is a season that everyone connected with the club will want to forget.

Grade: D