On Saturday, Barcelona resumed play in La Liga with a 1-1 tie with Villarreal at the Camp Nou. On Tuesday, it fell to Sevilla, 2-1, at home in the round
of 16 in the Copa del Rey round of 16. The New Year has not begun well for Barca, the defending champion in both competitions. Alvaro Negredo
whose penalty kick won the game for Sevilla, dedicated the goal to teammate Sergio Sanchez
, whose career is probably over after he was diagnosed with a heart
Barca lost despite having Lionel Messi
in the lineup for the first time after being away for an extended Christmas break.
It was without Malian Seydou Keita
and Ivorian Toure Yaya
, who have left for the Africa Cup of Nations.
The loss immediately started talk about Barca's dominance being over.
"I think it's a little early to start talking about an end of an era," outgoing Barcelona president Joan Laporta
, "but everyone is entitled to his opinions."