Deco defends Barcelona’s transfer approach, stating, “We can’t sign myself or Ronaldinho these days.”
Barcelona Sporting Director Deco has justified their transfer activities in the last year. Despite economic challenges, he stated that Xavi Hernandez was provided with a competitive squad. However, he acknowledged it fell short for all competitions due to injuries.
In the last two games, Xavi had only 12 senior players available, often relying on teenagers like Lamine Yamal, Pau Cubarsi, and Hector Fort. Deco stated that Xavi wasn’t pleased with certain sacrifices made.
“Without levers, more balances had to be made for fair play, but it was done well. It is true that the coach did not want to sell Dembele or for Busquets to leave, but Gundogan, Cancelo, Joao Felix at zero cost, Inigo and Oriol have come to balance the squad. Injuries have taken their toll on us. We haven’t had two whole months with the same team. That’s no excuse, but in the end that’s how it is. We have been left with a short squad with so many competitions.”
When questioned about Barcelona’s recruitment of foreign players to complement La Masia talent, Deco argued that their talent was on par with any other team’s.
“But let’s see. If I’m not mistaken, Lewandowski was the top scorer last season. Chelsea and Arsenal wanted Raphinha and he played more minutes than Dembele, scoring goals and giving assists… I detect too much nostalgia. It’s been 20 years.”
Deco: I would like to sign Ronaldinho and Eto’o today
Nearly two decades since joining Barcelona, Deco reflects on a time when he believes the transfer market was more accessible for the Blaugrana. Presently, he faces challenges in acquiring players similar to those brought in by Joan Laporta and Txiki Begiristain.
“I would like to sign Ronaldinho and Eto’o today. Even Deco. But they neither exist nor are they on the market. Times have changed, football has changed. These days I couldn’t have signed for Barca.”
“I wouldn’t have spent five years waiting in Porto. Not even Samuel in Mallorca waiting for Barca. As much as I wanted to, I would get so many offers from so many clubs that Porto would charge much more and it would be much more difficult. Today a player scores goals like Eto’o for six months and all the clubs are fighting for them.”
Barcelona recently failed to secure the signing of 17-year-old Swedish midfielder Lucas Bergvall. Deco’s explanation of the market partly points to increased competition for players in today’s landscape.
“When Barca went on the market 20 years ago they had competition from Real Madrid, Manchester United and little else. Now all the Premier League teams have the capacity to sign. And there is PSG. And there was no City, as powerful as the one today. Teams are better organised and players can choose from more clubs. But Barcelona still has power, we can seduce players and we are capable of bringing in important players.”
Critics have scrutinized Barcelona’s transfer strategy and Xavi’s management. The signing of Felix wasn’t Xavi’s top choice, and Ousmane Dembele’s departure revealed Raphinha, while statistically strong, doesn’t pose the same threat. Xavi, with only Oriol Romeu for Sergio Busquets, experimented with a fourth central defender in midfield to address gaps left by Busquets’ absence.