opinions | 2016-05-23
Tiki Taka - Barcelona 2:0 Sevilla
Barcelona concludes the season with a legendary final and a historical double
Heimo: Yet another rollercoaster ride that summed up this season perfectly. On one side you had to endure a really terrible first half, just like many times this season, but this time it lasted the full 90 minutes. The red card for Mascherano was deserved and obviously had a big impact on the game. And the referee didn’t help Barça either with his calls. He had to call some yellow cards on some fouls before he started to make the cards rain after the 70th minute. But it is what it is. We all know how officiating is in Spain.
Once more the team did show up when it was important. I didn’t like Lucho’s substitutions, but he managed to get the team to overtime. And they played like he wanted them to play. You can’t deny the fact that Messi’s genius once more guaranteed us from drowning in sorrows, that assist on Alba was something else that barely get noticed in the mess that was this final.
Messi's assists in finals like this are the situations that make him a Balon d’Or winner year in year out. Not all the goals he scores. It’s those decisive moments in which he pulls a rabbit out of his sleeve. And then in the final minutes of the overtime he does it again with another through ball after he controlled that ball like other than him only Iniesta and Neymar could control it. It was pure joy to watch him set up Neymar to finish this game off.
A magnificient end to another successful season. I can’t wait to get started again in August vs Sevilla in the Spanish Super Cup. Until then, let’s enjoy the summer here. Plenty of football involved but less drama. At least for me. Cheers!
Daniel Ramos: So it has come to this: Another season ends with another great display by the players and the staff.
There was a period of joy when we thought we had it all. Then came darkness, uncertainty and weakness. But just as a gladiator, waiting to deliver a final blow to his enemies, this team managed to rise, dust off and triumph not once, but twice, and in such a way...
I could go on and describe how wonderfully they recovered in this match, but I just wouldn't be able to find enough words to praise them at all. Overcoming all obstacles, keeping it cool and under control until Messi's magnificence made it up for Pique's efforts, Suárez' emotion, ter Stegen's dedication, Iniesta's brilliance and the concentration of the whole team.
Celebrate this, culés around the world, this is our night and our season, and no one can tell you otherwise.
That's why I can't hate or question these players. With or lose, they make you proud. In a difficult season, Barça have done the double— migeru (@migerucb) May 22, 2016
José Manuel: Oh boy, what a game!
Just as many of us were expecting, Sevilla fought until the end. The Andalusian side deployed their tactics based upon the hardest of marks against all key blaugrana players, and didn't hesitate to make use of fouls in order to stop any attempt from Barcelona to make their usual buildups towards the opponent's box. Mascherano's sending off came as a really hard blow - or so it looked like. Then came the toughest version of our beloved players, showing a spirit strong enough to endure not only Sevilla's hard tactics, but also their greater numbers (well accomodated by Unai Emery's skilled hand, no doubt). Even to endure the loss of our greatest striker this season due to injury.
The red card to Eber Banega at minute 92 made things even, and dictated the rest of the game. During extra time, psychologically strenghtened by their endurance through regular time, Barcelona owned the ball and the dangerous plays around Sevilla's box came. Not too long after that, we witnessed two masterstrokes by D10S himself in a red and blue jersey. Two precise balls from Leo made Jordi Alba and Neymar look like scoring a goal is all bread and butter. Even after Jordi's goal, Sevilla looked determined enough to reach the penalty kicks, but Neymar ended them. Justice for the man who kept our side atop of Liga table during Messi's absence between October and November. Lovely to watch the Brazillian lad making that very same signal with his arms (remember Berlin, 2015), letting the crowd know that it was all over.
Penya Blaugrana Ciutat de Mèxic exploded when Ney scored. Shouting, clapping, and again, El Cant del Barça spontaneously sung a capella by everyone present. La Liga and Spanish Cup, thank you Futbol Club Barcelona.
Jaime Ibarra: What. A. Match. One of the most thrilling finals I can recall. Two contenders battling until the last breath which makes Barça triumph even more worthy.
A tornado of emotions. After Mascherano's ejection and Suárez' injury I thought this was becoming the perfect match for the team to show up their winning mentality, their guts. And they did it.
It was perhaps one of Iniesta's masterpieces which is no light statement, he was heavenly since kick off until the final whistle. Piqué was imperial. Absolute dominance and concentration on every defensive aspect. And what can you say about Messi? Michael Jordan's fierceness, Muhammed Ali's power and Roger Federer's lethal elegance all in a single human being.
But beyond those three remarkable performances, there was a team effort, Spartan warriors in phalanx formation, one unit with one purpose: to bring the double home.
Which leads me to the required assessment on the campaign's final match: at the beginning of the season I told the team that all I ever wanted for this year was to repeat the Champions League title. So getting knocked out was a hard blow to me. It hurt really bad. But putting things in perspective, this has been an outstanding season. It's not normal winning six league titles out of the last eight for contention. It's not normal to win four UCL titles in the last 10 years. What this team has done, is doing and hopefully will continue to do for some time it's not normal. It's extraterrestrial. Be grateful and enjoy it.
Sevilla had more possession (52%-48%) and passes (527-494) than Barça last night. Rare occurrence of Barça 'suffering' and winning a final.— Fiaz Hamsath (@fiazhamsath) May 23, 2016
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WRITTEN BY: Rafael Hernández
A die hard Barcelona fan since the Joan Gaspart years, Rafael has seen the best and worst of his club. One of the Grup 14 founders, currently overlooking and coordinating the group's strategy. Rafael’s also a football journalist and entrepreneur.