At Barcelona, Life After Lionel Messi Is Haunted by the Past

The departure of Lionel Messi shook Barcelona to its foundations. But on a good day, if you look closely, you can see the shoots of a new era.

BARCELONA — Even by the most charitable estimate, Camp Nou is barely more than a third full by the time the teams stroll on to the field. The Champions League anthem blares, drowning out the thin applause that had greeted the players. Fans pockmark row upon row of sun-bleached seats, stretching into the sky, lost in the vast stadium.

On the far side, Barcelona’s motto, its statement of self — més que un club — is spelled out in the seats. As the

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