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Where do Barcelona need to sign players? Defence, midfield, winger

The FC crew mull over who Ernesto Valverde might target in the transfer market now that he is Barcelona's next manager.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu didn't just confirm Ernesto Valverde as the club's new manager on Monday, but he also revealed decisions have been made regarding the make up of the squad next season, too.

"Some decisions have already been taken and there are others which need to be made, but we cannot reveal anything yet," Bartomeu said in a news conference at Camp Nou

Sporting director Robert Fernandez has been working on transfers in and out this summer for some time. Jeremy Mathieu and...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

World Fame 100: Barcelona land Lionel Messi, Neymar, three others on list

We asked Ben Alamar, ESPN's director of sports analytics, to figure out the most famous athletes in the world. Using a formula that combines endorsements with social media fan base and Google search popularity, he ranked the globe's most famous athletes in our second annual World Fame 100.

Barcelona landed five players on our list:

No. 3: Lionel Messi

Why he's got fame: He remains the greatest current exponent of global soccer, a player of such otherworldly skill that the one remaining question...

Valverde must build robust midfield, get Messi on his side for Barca success

Sid Lowe says Barcelona are in safe hands with Ernesto Valverde, even if he is not the most exciting managerial hire.
With Ernesto Valverde's confirmation as the coach of Barcelona, Steve Nicol looks at his safe, if lacklustre, approach.
The FC crew mull over who Ernesto Valverde might target in the transfer market now that he is Barcelona's next manager.
Former Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera is now linked with a possible move to Barca after Ernesto Valverde's appointment.

After Ernesto Valverde was named Barcelona's coach for the next two seasons, ESPN FC looks at the five big issues the new boss needs to address to make sure his tenure is a success.

1. Build foundations in midfield

Barcelona's domination of the past decade was based on the supremacy of their midfield, with Xavi Hernandez the puppet master of a side that would utterly dominate opponents in the middle of the pitch, starving them of possession and crafting out chance after chance. Slowly, as Xavi and...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Lionel Messi's Golden Shoe term tops season-ending Player Power Rankings

Steve Nicol evaluates the final player power rankings, which take into account total votes during the 2016-17 season.

Every Monday throughout the season, ESPN FC's worldwide editorial desks nominated their top performers from the weekend's action, and the results were collated into a top 10. We tallied the votes from throughout the campaign to bring you the best of 2016-17.

Season-end Player Power Rankings graphic
No one gathered more votes in our Player Power Rankings votes this season that Lionel Messi.

Let us know what you think of the countdown by commenting below or on Twitter using #ESPNFCrankings.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.

Ernesto Valverde is a great fit for Barca but can he cope with the pressure?

Sid Lowe says Barcelona are in safe hands with Ernesto Valverde, even if he is not the most exciting managerial hire.

The first thing to say about Ernesto Valverde is that although Barcelona have now brutally sacked Andoni Zubizarreta twice in his Camp Nou career, it's the hand of the big Basque ex-goalkeeper that is traceable in this appointment. The "Dream Team" keeper, with whom Valverde struck up a friendship when a missile thrown from the crowd struck "Zubi" and, also, in due course the Camp Nou director of football who signed Neymar, Luis Suarez, Marc Andre Ter Stegen, Jordi Alba, Ivan Rakitic and Luis...

Arsenal pendulum swings, farewell Totti, Messi magic, Tuchel future, more

Steve Nicol looks at the saga of Arsene Wenger's future, and his belief that he'll walk should he lose any personal power.

Arsene Wenger guided Arsenal past Chelsea at Wembley in the FA Cup final. It finished 2-1, although in truth Arsenal could probably have scored more. The Gunners finished the season with six straight victories in all competitions, winning nine of their last 10 overall.

What to read into this?

Probably not that much other than the basic fact that for all the bile and invective thrown at some Arsenal players, on the day they can turn up and play and be pretty darn good. And when it comes to fight...