Former Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello believes Barcelona’s recent struggles are partially down to the absence of a charismatic leader like Carles Puyol, who hung up his boots in 2014.
The Catalans are on a four-game winless streak in La Liga following Sunday’s 2-1 defeat against Valencia and are in serious danger of missing out on the domestic title following their poor run, while they also crashed out of the Champions League at the hands of Atletico Madrid.
And Capello – who was coach of the Madrid team that pipped Barcelona to the title in 2006-07 after an impressive comeback – feels the lack of a true leader could cost the Camp Nou side.
“This time, the comeback has happened really quickly. Barca have lost a lot of points and are now in great difficulty. When we did it, we went step by step, quietly, right up until the last day of the season,” Capello told reporters.
“You can’t tell what will happen now and it’s possible that Barca will get back on track, both physically and mentally.
“But I think they need a captain in the mould of Puyol to pull them along. There are moments when a coach can try something, but it all counts for nothing if there is no real leader in the dressing room.
“When Juventus struggled this season, [Gianluigi] Buffon and [Giorgio] Chiellini stepped up to turn things around.”
Barcelona will be looking to return to winning ways on Wednesday, when they travel to Deportivo La Coruna.
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