One of Europe's true giants, Barcelona are one of the most successful sporting teams in the 21st century.
The Catalan club have won ten La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues since 2000, but the names associated with the club may overshadow even those recent accomplishments. From Johan Cruyff to Rivaldo, Pep Guardiola and of course Lionel Messi, they have long been connected to the best footballers and managers in world football.
In Football Manager 2020, Barcelona does not offer a rags-to-riches story, but instead offers you the chance to manage the greatest player in football and challenge straight away for the biggest prizes in football.
Can you handle the pressure?
WIN IT ALL: Expectations are high at Barcelona
This new feature has been a big success in FM20. It is both a short-term and long-term set of goals for the club under your direction, as laid out by the board.
It includes play style aims, financial targets, and competition results, with increasing expectations over each year of your tenure.
The expectations at Barcelona are understandably high.
You are required to win both the La Liga title and the Champions Cup (Champions League). That will be no easy task, and maybe you will be forgiven for a semi-final appearance, but failure to win either competition could well result in your termination.
The club culture requires you to play possession and attacking football while also sign high-reputation players and develop players using the club's youth system.
It would be a football crime to not play some version of tiki-taka at Barcelona. There are plenty of other tactical styles that could fit this team, but gegenpress or control possession aren't quite right.
Use tiki-taka as your main style, but having vertical tiki-taka as a slightly more direct form of attacking play in a second tactical slot would be a wise move.
WHERE IT ALL STARTED: Barcelona & tiki-taka belong together
The 4-1-4-1 DM Wide fits this team perfectly thanks to their star trio of forwards and dominant midfielders.
Your starting XI should feature Marc-Andre ter Stegen in goal, with a back four of Sergio Roberto, Gerard Pique, Clemente Lenglet, and Jordi Alba.
Sergio Busquets should sit in front of the defenders as the deep-lying playmaker, while Ivan Rakitic and Frenkie De Jong take up the roaming playmaker and attacking playmaker roles.
Your front three will consist of Lionel Messi on the right, Antoine Griezmann on the left, and Luis Suarez leading the line.
On the bench you should have Neto, Nelson Semedo, Samuel Umtiti, Arturo Vidal, Arthur, Riqui Puig, and Ousmane Dembele.
Barca have a lot of high-quality players that would make the starting XI for any team. Who are they?
Lionel Messi - CA 5 star (195), PA 5 star (199)
What really needs to be said about Lionel Messi? He is the club's all-time leading goal scorer with over 650 goals to his name, six Ballon d'Or awards, six European Golden Shoes, and the 2014 World Cup Golden Ball.
He is the best player in FM20. With a maximum 20 rating for dribbling, finishing, passing, technique, decisions, determination, flair, vision, agility, and balance he is quite simply amazing.
Luis Suarez - CA 4.5 star (180), PA 4.5 star (188)
The Uruguayan forward first came to prominence with Ajax before moving to Liverpool in 2011. After scoring for fun in the Premier League he moved to Barcelona for £65 million in 2014 and continuing to find the back of the net.
In Football Manager 2020 he is an elite striker. 18 finishing, 17 technique, and 17 off the ball he can find the right place in the box and finish with confidence.
Antoine Griezmann - CA 4.5 star (179), PA 4.5 star (182)
The French star began his career at Real Sociedad but rose to prominence after moving to Atletico Madrid in 2014. After years of speculation, he finally made his massive move to Barcelona in 2019 for the massive fee around £112 million.
A natural at ST, AML, and AMC, Griezmann is an amazing talent. With 19 first touch, 18 finishing, and 17 dribbling he is deadly, while his 18 off the ball, 17 flair, and 16 vision making him a strong creative force too.
Barcelona's youth academy La Masia is famous for producing elite footballing talent. Barca's core have always grown up there, while elite players depart for other clubs too. So who is coming up next for Barcelona?
Jean-Clair Todibo - CA (130), PA (160-190)
The next great anchor for your midfield could well be Jean-Clair Todibo. A natural at both centre back and defensive midfield, he brings 16 natural fitness, 15 stamina, and 15 strength to the field.
On the ball he has 14 passing, 14 tackling, and 13 marking, making him an ideal ball-player at the back.
Ansu Fati - CA (120), PA (160-190)
The 16-year-old wide man has the potential to be an elite player for Barcelona in the future. With 17 agility, and 16 acceleration he has solid pace, while his 15 dribbling and 15 technique is already strong.
Moussa Wague - CA (145), PA (150-180)
Moussa Wague can play at either full back position, which makes him a valuable asset. He already has 17 acceleration and 16 pace to get him up and down the touchline, while his 14 technique, 13 tackling, and 11 passing is an ok base to begin with for the youngster.
|Natural Fitness||Wage Budget|
HIERARCHY: Pay attention to how your squad works off the pitch too
Team Leaders: Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets
Highly Influential Players: Ivan Rakitic, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Jordi Alba, Arturo Vidal, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, Sergio Roberto, Samuel Umtiti, Ousmane Dembele
Dynamics depict the dressing room atmosphere and hierarchy at your club. It is important to keep the team leaders and highly influential players happy. More playing time and big contracts to other players can see them leap up the tiers, so be sure to keep an eye on this tab so you understand how your team fits together.
It will be easy enough to keep Messi happy as he will be playing nearly every game. Busquets will certainly be playing enough too, but Pique is now 32 and with Clemente Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti waiting in the wings he will need to be rotated until his retirement.
Starting transfer budget: £8.6 million
Remaining wage budget: £44,700 a week
There isn't much money left in the Barcelona war chest. This is thanks to the massive outlay made on Griezmann.
As a result you might want to off-load some players to free up some extra transfer funds, but you should hold off that urge.
Barcelona's first team is not particularly deep, and while there are some supreme young talents you shouldn't sell those either as at some point you will need replacements for Messi, Pique, and others.
By the end of the season your transfer budget should be boosted to a healthy £107 million though. So you can start venturing into the transfer market then.
Barcelona's midfield has five quality players in it, but three of them will be 31 or older by the time you have the money to go shopping, so bringing in a new face would be wise.
Eduardo Camavinga is the perfect option for Barcelona. Able to play at DM or MC, he will develop into a brilliant player. At just 16 when you start your career, his PA range of 150-180 is elite and will be met easily as you work him into your team.
|Julian Weigl||23||Borussia Dortmund||Germany||143/159||£15.5m||£66k|
Just like the midfield, there is going to be player turnover in the defence soon. Gerard Pique is 32 when you start, and Jordi Alba is 30. Barcelona's youth system has more full back prospects than centre back, so you should look to sign someone that can act as a #3 to Lenglet & Umtiti.
Dayot Upamecano is a young player with a bright future that can work well with either Umtiti or Lenglet. The Leipzig centre back has 18 pace, 16 strength, and 16 bravery while his other stats will all improve with time. His PA of 172 means he could be an elite star.
|Daniele Rugani||24||Zebre (Juventus)||Italy||147/159||£13m||£105k|
|Manuel Akanji||23||Borussia Dortmund||Switzerland||144/161||£16.25m||£49.5k|
Barcelona have a very settled contract situation for your first year in charge. Only Arda Turan, who is on loan at Basaksehir, is in the final year of his contract and you can happily allow him to walk away. The real problems start the next year...
Seven players have their contracts ending in 2021, including Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
Suarez will be 34 by the time his contract expires, so you can potentially let him leave without too much of a problem, but Barcelona will break out in riots if you let Messi go. His massive £1.2 million per week deal will be hard to extend though.
Youngster Riqui Puig should absolutely be extended, while you might want to cash in on Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic before their contracts expire by selling at least one of them.
Marc Cucurella should be retained, but Rafinha can be allowed to leave.
Barcelona is a team with huge name recognition and a global fan base. As a result, its financial base is incredibly strong.
their overall balance is projected to grow massively over the next few years, and your transfer budget will benefit from that. The key thing is to not waste money on bad transfers or contracts.
The only thing you have to do is stay at the top of world football. How hard can that be?
While you have Lionel Messi you will be competing for every trophy. But it will be important to give plenty of time to Ousmane Dembele and the young forwards like Ansu Fati so that as he declines you have quality options coming through.
Life in the post-Messi era won't be easy, but you'll still be at Barcelona which means you can attract top players and will have quality youth prospects to work with too.
Full Barcelona Player Ratings
|Marc-Andre ter Stegen||27||GK||SK||Support||3.5 star||168/183|
|Sergi Roberto||27||D (R) WB (R) DM M (RC)||BBM||Support||3.5 star||159/165|
|Gerard Pique||32||D (C)||BPD||Defend||4 star||169/170|
|Clement Lenglet||24||D (C)||BDP||Cover||3 star||156/162|
|Jordi Alba||30||D (L) WB (L) M (L) AM (L)||CWB||Support||3.5 star||161/166|
|Sergio Busquets||30||DM M (C)||DLP||Defend||4 star||165/171|
|Ivan Rakitic||31||DM M (C) AM (C)||DLP||Support||3.5 star||161/168|
|Frenkie De Jong||22||D (C) DM M (C)||AP||Support||3.5 star||160/178|
|Lionel Messi||32||AM (RC) ST||IF||Support||5 star||195/199|
|Antoine Griezmann||28||AM (LC) ST||AF||Attack||4.5 star||179/182|
|Luis Suarez||32||AM (RLC) ST||DLF||Support||4.5 star||180/188|
|Nelson Semedo||25||D (R) WB (R)||WB||Attack||3 star||149/156|
|Samuel Umtiti||25||D (C)||BPD||Cover||3 star||159/169|
|Arturo Vidal||32||DM M (C)||BBM||Support||3 star||158/176|
|Arthur||22||DM M (C) AM (C)||DLP||Support||3.5 star||159/175|
|Ousmane Dembele||22||M (RL) AM (RL)||IW||Attack||3.5 star||169/185|
|Riqui Puig||19||M (C) AM (C)||AP||Support||2 star||130/140-170|
|Moussa Wague||20||D (RL) WB (RL)||WB||Attack||2.5 star||145/150-180|
|Hiroki Abe||20||AM (RLC)||IW||Support||2 star||115/120-150|
|Jean-Clair Todibo||19||D (C) DM||BPD||Defend||2 star||130/160-190|
|Carles Alena||21||M (C) AM (C)||AP||Support||2 star||132/158|
|Junior Firpo||22||D (L) WB (L)||WB||Defend||2.5 star||147/160|