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La Masia key to replacing Pedro


Barcelona's Sergio Busquets holds the key to future midfield

ESPN FC's Sid Lowe explains Barcelona's transfer ban and their lack of depth because of that.

Sergio Busquets is one of the most underrated players in world football. Despite having played a key role in bringing 22 collective trophies to his teams, including three Champions Leagues for Barcelona and the World and European Cups for Spain, there is still an inexplicable number of fans out there who just consider him a slightly above-average footballer -- a player who just happens to be in the right place at the right time.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Although many suspected...

Barcelona must make Neymar's contract renewal a priority this season

Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique has appeared to rule out Neymar moving to Manchester United
Neymar won the Treble last season and looks to have settled well at Barcelona.

Neymar has been in the middle of constant controversy since he landed in Barcelona in the summer of 2013. Although the transfer of the young Brazilian is perhaps the most closely scrutinised in the history of football, nobody can yet be sure as to how much the Camp Nou giants actually paid to secure his services -- with the figures varying from the €57 million that Barca initially announced, to the €83m the Spanish courts are currently suggesting.

As is natural given the huge pressure...

 By Shaka Hislop

Barcelona retain Power Rankings top spot, followed by Bayern Munich

The latest edition of Shaka's Power Rankings are in and the selections might just surprise you.
ESPN FC's Sid Lowe explains Barcelona's transfer ban and their lack of depth because of that.
ESPN FC's Janusz Michallik breaks down how Luis Suarez's movement on and off the ball makes him such a threat for Barcelona.

In the second edition of the 2015-16 Power Rankings, the top three stay the same, but there's movement below them.

1. Barcelona (no change)

Lionel Messi has yet to score in La Liga this season, but Barca have still won their first two games. Most recently, Thomas Vermaelen -- remember him? -- was the hero with the winner vs. Malaga. The Belgian defender's crucial contribution came as part of the impressive form he has shown while filling in for the suspended Gerard Pique.

2. Bayern Munich (no...

 By Lee Roden

Aleix Vidal could be Barcelona's lone highlight of summer transfer window

Despite having a transfer ban in 2015, Barcelona secured Arda Turan, left, and Aleix Vidal, right, with both players eligible to play when the January 2016 window opens.

With the transfer window now closed, it's time to look at Barcelona's ins and outs and whether Luis Enrique can be pleased with his summer business.


Arda Turan (Atletico Madrid, €34m); Aleix Vidal (Sevilla, €19m).


Pedro Rodriguez (Chelsea, €27m); Adama Traore (Aston Villa, €10m); Gerard Deulofeu (Everton, €6m); Xavi Hernandez (Al-Sadd, free); Ibrahim Afellay (Stoke City, free); Denis Suarez (Villarreal, free).

Window Rating - 5/10 

Both of Barcelona's...

 By Lee Roden

Barcelona's stars will get little rest over the international break

ESPN FC's Sid Lowe explains Barcelona's transfer ban and their lack of depth because of that.

The all-important wins may be on the table but with only two goals scored in two games, FC Barcelona have produced their lowest-scoring opening to the La Liga season since 2008. The sharpness of mind that influences such things isn't quite there for the Catalans, and just when Luis Enrique would have ideally liked to tailor some training sessions toward improving that deficiency, the international break has hit.

Only seven first-team members will work at the club's Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo endure another scoreless weekend

Looking back at how Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo fared at the weekend.

Well, this wasn't in the script...

Barcelona and Real Madrid both won at the weekend, but neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo was able to get his name on the scoresheet.

Messi hit the target with five of the seven shots he took in Barca's 1-0 win vs. Malaga but was repeatedly denied by goalkeeper Carlos Kameni, who made a total of 12 saves.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid thrashed Real Betis 5-0, but Ronaldo, who also had five shots on target -- from six attempts -- could not find a way...