Pique announced the decline of Barcelona after the Spanish Super Cup lost against Real Madrid and now he is being proved right.
After the defeat in the Spanish Super Cup, Gerard Pique announced: “Barcelona is no longer the best team”. His statement seemed a bit harsh at that moment, but is now being backed by the recent Ballon d’Or nominees list that France Football released.
Contrary to previous years when they were dominating the list, the Catalans now only have two players on the final 30 list. Only Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez have been named on the shortlist for the 2017 Ballon d’Or award. This has not happened at Barcelona since 2005. Back then, it was Ronaldinho and Eto’o who were nominated for the award, with the Brazilian eventually winning it.
Previously, in 2003, Barcelona only had Ronaldinho on the list, and in 2002 only Rivaldo represented the Catalans. However, in recent times, Barcelona dominated the list. In 2011, the Catalans had seven names on the final list (Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Villa, Abidal, Alves and Pique) and in 2010 six players (Messi, Alves, Xavi, Villa, Iniesta and Puyol). Two years ago, in 2015, Barcelona again had six players nominated for the most important individual award in world football (Messi, Suarez, Neymar, Mascherano, Iniesta and Rakitic).