Barcelona must focus on La Liga, not meaningless Supercopa

Barcelona must focus on La Liga, not meaningless Supercopa

In the space of nine days, Barcelona played a trilogy of matches against Athletic Bilbao. Nominally the honors were split: one win, one loss, one draw for each team. But in actuality Barça got the better of the duel, as their tilt at San Mamés to open up their La Liga defense, in which they labored to a 1-0 victory, at the same stadium where they had just copped a 4-0 hiding the week before, was by far the most meaningful of their set of encounters.

Sure, the two Supercopa matches involved a trophy, but that bore little significance in the grand scheme of things. In the eyes of an elite football club, the overall number of trophies is secondary to the type of trophies it is able to add to its cabinet.

European mega-clubs would probably consider a Champions League trophy equally as, if not more, prestigious as the five other available club trophies—the domestic league, the domestic cup, the UEFA Super Cup, the domestic Supercup, the FIFA Club World Cup—put together. And, given the history at stake, if you present the culés with a simple choice of either all five of those honors or a Champions League trophy this season, all would unquestionably opt for the latter.

Thus, by the same logic, it is no exaggeration to state that the three points alone picked up for a major trophy (if not quite in the same category as the one with the big ears) over the weekend were of more consequence than any of the three “minor minor” trophies that Barcelona are eligible for during the first half of this season.

The rationale is simple to see. For all of the Blaugranas successes last season, they still only won the league by a measly two points (1½ given the tie-breaker situation), prevailing over a Real Madrid team that was decimated by extended injuries to its key players: Luka Modrić (perhaps their most important player), James Rodríguez, Sergio Ramos, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema. In contrast, other than a suspended Luis Suárez for the first two months, all of Barça’s vital cogs were available for the vast majority of their fruitful campaign.

The point is that Real Madrid, despite dropping two points over the weekend, pose a strong—and really only—challenge in the league: any three points, whenever it is along the season, could make all the difference come season’s end. 

Barcelona must focus on La Liga, not meaningless Supercopa

Given a choice, one should always take the points rather than a virtually meaningless trophy—even if it torpedoes the chance at a “sextuple”, a nice feat that Barça have accomplished previously. They attained the far more historic second treble last season. 

In what would probably be the most significant achievement in modern football, an unprecedented repeat Champions League title beckons this season.

Barcelona is a club in the middle of a historical era. The priority should no longer be simply about augmenting the trophy count; it should be about making meaningful history.

By Harry Hong, columnist at