Who should Barcelona sign to replace Ronaldinho?
That got me thinking about what the other knock-on effects might be, and especially about whether Barcelona would feel obliged to sign another big-name player as a replacement.
My own view is that this would be a good time for Barcelona to go down a different route. Ever since Joan Laporta took over as president they’ve pursued a relentless policy of buying in top names, from Ronaldinho to Deco, Samuel Eto’o and on to Thierry Henry.
For the first couple of seasons it worked very well, as the club regained their status as European heavyweights, won the league title and went on to claim the Champions League. Now, though, is surely the time to say enough is enough.
If Ronaldinho does go, the coach (whoever that might be) will still be able to call on Henry, Eto’o, Messi, Bojan and Giovani to fill the forward positions. And that’s the main difference between Barcelona now and Real Madrid when they were reaching the end of their ‘galactico’ era.
Real were so focused on their megastars that the squad as a whole had a threadbare look about it, which became increasingly obvious as time wore on. Barcelona have no such problems and if they manage to resist the temptation to throw money at another major forward it should just mean more space to grow for Bojan et al.
What do you reckon? Should Barcelona go out and sign a direct replacement — a Kaka, for example? Should they throw money at the Premier League to get a Torres or a Gerrard, Cesc Fabregas or even Cristiano Ronaldo (presumably untouchable, but you never know)? And while we’re at it, should Real Madrid pursue their interest in long-term target Kaka? Give us your ideas in the comments.
PHOTO: Kaka reacts during Milan’s Serie A game against AS Roma in Rome March 15, 2008. REUTERS/Chris Helgren