Power can often be seen through players, the sport's genuine box-office attractions. Chelsea are good, but not great. Barca rest Messi for UCL clash to 'protect' him. Tomorrow is another day and Pedri and Joao Felix will be there. These men have earned the right to a voice in shaping the club's future, and they will exercise it either directly or indirectly by backing candidates and programs at the next election -- and, in the case of Pique, perhaps by running for president one day. That was the sort of short-term move that took guts and foresight: You sacrifice short-term guaranteed cash from partners for long-term growth and revenue. You want to think long-term for the good of the club, but you end up acting short-term to react to immediate concerns -- or what you think are immediate concerns. ET) Hope. And it's hard to swallow the complaints of Spain's super clubs, whinging about how they are getting the "p--- taken out of us, getting squeezed for a few pennies." The headline on the front of one Spanish paper the day the competition began this year said: "Harder than ever." The most common score for a team this season is nil: teams have registered zero goals on 39 occasions, and just one goal on 33 occasions. Read all the latest news and reaction from ESPN FC senior writer Gabriele Marcotti. It hasn't been crazy and unpredictable, posing questions of empty stadiums and freak results like elsewhere. - Predict results in ESPN's English Soccer Pick 'Em! What's next? Last season, it was set to rise by another €100m ($117m) before wage deferrals and cuts as a result of the coronavirus pandemic took out some of the sting. "They scored eight goals against Barcelona, a measure of their decadence, and four against Atletico, taking the diagnosis further: the league is losing competitiveness by the bucket-load. Jump to: City-Liverpool thoughts | Messi the super sub? • Union Berlin v Frankfurt (9.20 a.m. (1:23). If you pause the replay from Real Madrid's visit to Borussia Monchengladbach on Tuesday night and cast your eye over to the right side of the screen, away from the action, you can see the moment where Fede Valverde thinks that all is lost. At about the same time, back in Madrid, Joao Felix was scoring at the Wanda Metropolitano. Transitions take time -- and there is no doubt that both Madrid and Barcelona are at a very particular point that needn't necessarily be permanent. Gabriele Marcotti is European football correspondent for The Times. Bartomeu will be remembered for many things, perhaps chiefly for the fact that the greatest player in the club's history tried to leave the club this past summer, slamming the door behind him. Or, at least, is going. This year, Barcelona and Madrid came into last week's clásico having both been beaten in the week leading up to it -- by Getafe and Cádiz respectively -- for the first time since 2003. Spain has fewer goals than any of Europe's biggest leagues, and the Premier League almost doubles their figure. Yes, it's full of flaws. Marcotti calls on Barcelona's icons to 'shape the future' (1:23). That's the Barcelona version of democracy. This byline is for a different person with the same name. You have come to the all new Global edition, for other ESPN editions, click here. MLS Cup playoffs preview: Does home-field advantage mean anything? All of them he got badly wrong. He has covered four World Cups, four European championships, one Ol Melia saves day as SKC eliminates San Jose. Chelsea are good, but not great. ET). While it’s relatively simple to predict his income, it’s harder to know how much Gab3 has spent over the years. Under Bartomeu's watch, the club came within a whisker of becoming the first sports franchise to break the one billion Euro ($1.17 billion) mark in revenue, something made possible in part by taking their merchandising, retail and licensing activities in-house and pursuing an aggressive and successful sponsorship strategy. - Stream new episodes of ESPN FC Monday-Friday on ESPN+ In fact, it's laughable at times, but it's not without meaning, if only as an echo of what's happening. No problem! United's new signing Diallo's eventful journey to Old Trafford. How can Lampard unlock the potential of Werner, Pulisic & Co.? Maybe those giants won't find their feet this time, in a season played out in silence. Left behind in the Europa League, Villarreal, Real Sociedad and maybe even Granada must be taken seriously. ", Valdano wrote that in the Spanish paper El País on the morning of the Clásico, which Real won 3-1. If Casemiro rescued Madrid, the men who led Barcelona and Atletico were boys. Online estimates of Gab3’s net worth vary. Victory and defeat are imposters at times, for sure. • Reading v Bristol C (7.25 a.m. ET) Elections in a few months, of course, but most of all, a chance for those who starred on the pitch in Barcelona's latest golden era -- and who, directly or indirectly, had a hand in Bartomeu's departure -- to make their mark. He resigned Tuesday after facing tons of public pressure -- including, he says, "threats and insults" -- and a de facto impeachment vote he would almost certainly have lost. What we do know is that most of what Bartomeu did in his handling of Messi backfired badly, whether it was facilitating the Eric Abidal interview calling out the dressing room (which prompted a rare Messi statement) or the salary-cut negotiation (another Messi riposte) or simply saying that he was 100 percent certain Messi would stay, which culminated in the burofax and Messi telling the club he wanted to leave.

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