FC Barcelona will host Real Sociedad at Camp Nou on Sunday in each team’s La Liga season opener.
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In the US, the match (2 p.m. ET start time) will be televised on ABC, but if you don’t have cable, you can also watch Barcelona vs Real Sociedad live on ESPN+ right here:
You can watch every La Liga match this season on ESPN+, which also includes other international soccer (Bundesliga, FA Cup, Copa del Rey, Carabao Cup, etc), dozens of other live sports, every 30-for-30 documentary and additional original content (both video and written) all for $6.99 per month.
Or, if you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $13.99 per month, which works out to over 30 percent savings:
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch Barcelona vs Real Sociedad live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4 or 5, Xbox One or Series X/S, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), Samsung Smart TV, Oculus Go, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
Barcelona vs Real Sociedad Preview
Sunday will mark Barcelona’s first match since the departure of legendary forward Lionel Messi, who joined the club’s youth program in 2000 and made his debut with the senior team in 2004. The 34-year-old Argentine signed with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.
“It’s painful for all the Barcelona fans, for everything Messi has done,” Blaugrana manager Ronald Koeman said Saturday, according to Marca.
“But we mustn’t live in the past either. They are things of the past, people change teams. I’m excited, I hope we have the same enthusiasm as the Barcelona fans. We have to live in the present, not the past.”
The manager noted forward Antoine Griezmann will see an expanded role with Messi out of the picture.
“I love working with him, he’s a team player, he always helps without the ball, he’s always happy, he gives encouragement… he must take another step forward and be more clinical,” Koeman said of the Frenchman, per Marca.
“He will be more important without Leo, because he can occupy his position [on the pitch].”
The Blaugrana placed third in La Liga with 79 points last season, 7 points behind league champions Atlético Madrid. They also claimed the club’s 31st Copa del Rey title.
“I’m very excited about the start of the new season,” American fullback Sergiño Dest said, according to the club’s official website. “Everyone wants to win [La Liga]. But we’ll take things a step at a time, and that means we have to win our first game against Real Sociedad on Sunday.”
Real Sociedad will be without their most potent offensive weapon for their season opener — Swedish forward Alexander Isak, who scored a team-best 17 goals in league play a year ago, will miss the test with a muscle injury.
Los Txuri-Urdin have inched up the league table in each season under manager Imanol Alguacil, who took over in December 2018. They finished in ninth place that year, then in sixth in 2019-20. Last season, Real Sociedad placed fifth, the club’s best finish in La Liga since they took fourth in 2012-13 and second-best since their runner-up campaign in 2002-03.
Alguacil guided Real Sociedad to the 2020 Copa del Rey title with a 1-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao in April 2021, 13 months after they advanced to the final, a delay prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The club hadn’t won a major trophy since 1987.
“He had a very clear identity and pushes that to the death,” Real Sociedad midfielder Ander Guevara said of Alguacil, according to The Guardian. “A team that wants the ball: not for its own sake, but to do damage with it. Good pressure, good physical preparation, possession.”