"Everything must come to an end" is how another old saying goes, and it was never more appropriate than on Tuesday night at Anfield, as Barcelona, so long the dominant force in Eurpoean football, threw away a 3-0 advantage, and crumbled out of the Champions League to Liverpool.
Every team experiences a poor run, but Barcelona have been alone in world football in maintaining high discipline, diligence and determination, resulting in a phenomenal success rate. Until now.
Many in football are now asking the unthinkable:
"Could this be the end for Barça?
Spanish champions four out of the last five seasons, and winners of the last four Copa del Reys, the Catalan club have been the darlings of Europe, attracting players as gifted as Piqué, Coutinho, Arthur, Vidal, Suárez and, of course, Lionel Messi. There are no guarantees in football, however, and once a team starts faltering, goodbyes are never very far away.
They've ruled supreme for so long, that everyone has forgotten about 'life before Barça', but recent results have shown a marked collapse of form.
On April 3, Barcelona conceded four goals as they drew 4-4 at Villareal, and then went goalless in a 0-0 at Huesca ten days later. Then came a 2-0 reverse at Celta Vigo, and, despite somewhat fortunately ending the first-leg 3-0 to the good against Liverpool, they played like schoolboys at Anfield, and were sent back to Spain with their tails between their legs.
Even the fans have started to desert them. Crowds of over 100,000 are not unusual at the Nou Camp, with 50,000 turning up to watch training sessions. Last Thursday, however, it's claimed only about 32,000 came to watch the team going through its fitness programme.
After failing at the same stage of the Champions League last year against Roma, there is bound to be a mass exodus of players from the Nou Camp. Philippe Coutinho is proving an expensive wage bill. Manager Ernesto Valverde is rumoured to be on the verge of being sacked. Lionel Messi berated his fellow players so much after the game on Tuesday night, that he was thrown off the team bus, and other cracks are starting to appear.
Even the tea lady, Elsie Cordoba, looks like she may be on her way.
Dark days lay ahead at the Nou Camp.