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Lewandowski, Balde and 4 more: rating Barca’s best players before World Cup break

The 2022/23 season is divided into two parts, before and after the World Cup. The first part is already over, and we have the opportunity to look back and assess the players that performed the best during this period.

Robert Lewandowski – 9

Robert Lewandowski struggled a bit during pre-season, but as soon as the official competitions returned, the striker was back to his best. The 34-year-old was a key player for us, starting in 18 matches out of 20 and netting 18 times.

Lewandowski came in clutch in the games against Mallorca and Valencia, single-handedly winning us these tough away clashes. He adapted to Barca’s build-up and pressing proving that he is the perfect striker for Xavi’s system.

However, we still cannot give him a perfect rating. Robert had some off nights too, like the first game against Bayern Munich or in El Clasico when he missed some big chances. Besides, he was sent off in the final match before the break.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 8.5

Be it Barca’s improved performance in defence or his new-found confidence, Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been an absolute beast in La Liga this season. The German has kept 11 clean sheets in 14 matches and conceded just 5 goals – an incredible record for a Barca goalkeeper.

In the Champions League though, the keeper did not perform at his best, conceding 10 goals in 5 games. Ter Stegen did not commit any glaring mistakes, but he didn’t pull too many impressive saves either.

Pedri – 8.5

At 19, Pedri is already the heart and the brains of Barca’s midfield. He is our main creative asset in the middle and the numbers prove it. The Spaniard is on par with Kevin De Bruyne and Leo Messi when it comes to pre-assists.

Pedri has improved in one key aspect over the summer as he now attacks the box with more confidence. He’s scored 3 goals in 19 games this season, a major improvement when compared to the previous years.

Ousmane Dembele – 8

On his night, Ousmane Dembele is the most threatening winger in the world. With 5 goals and 7 assists to his name, he is Xavi’s main creative asset up front.

However, Ousmane lacks consistency and the coach recognizes it too. He may be unplayable against Athletic Bilbao but lose every other ball against Valencia.

Alejandro Balde – 8

The breakthrough of the season, Alejandro Balde has managed to establish himself as a key starter ahead of the experienced Jordi Alba and Marcos Alonso. Part of Barca’s impenetrable defence, he has also proved useful going forward, recording three assists

Perhaps the most impressive thing, however, is how he can switch sides to play as a right back. It’s extremely rare for full-backs to play equally well on both wings.

Frenkie de Jong – 7.5

Frenkie de Jong was a bench option early into the season, with Xavi preferring Gavi ahead of him. However, as the weeks went by, the Dutchman regained his spot and went on to play the last 6 league games from the start.

Xavi used Frenkie as the pivot in a few games this term, and unlike in the previous campaigns, the Dutchman actually looked solid. His goal against Almeria and the game-winning assist against Osasuna served as the icing on the cake.

Honourable mentions: Kounde and Araujo

Due to injuries, Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo played just 10 and 7 matches respectively. However, both were absolutely class before the September international break. We are looking forward to their performances in the second half of the season.

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