After proving so hard to defeat all through the Champions League, the Barcelona players found it hard to take it all in. Having a 3-1 victory over Juventus in Berlin’s Olympiastadion, there had an air of disbelief about what they had achieved, which added an obvious joy and sense of vindication to the whole Barcelona team.
It is Andres Iniesta, whom you would think by now had seen it all. Literally, Iniesta had won it all. Iniesta began,
“Six years ago we thought that winning a treble again was unrepeatable. But, we did it this time and it makes your hair stand on end when you think back and see how much lucky you guys are to see winning everything. “
The new generation of Barcelona own the modern Champions League in the way their great rivals at Real Madrid owned the old European Cup. Barcelona have long been the benchmark for the European Championship and the reference point. Right now, they have again re-asserted that status. This is not just their second treble in the space of six years, as Andres Iniesta mentioned, but also their fourth Champions League in nine seasons.
That consistency is unmatched since the European Cup was rebranded and restructured in 1992. Actually, it is the longest spells of continuous success for Barcelona in its 60 years of existence. There are hardly any that can match that level of success.
This is certainly something hard to achieve. The chronological evolution and extreme success of this bunch of players was only emphasized by the order in which they emerged from the dressing room, after almost two hours of joyful celebration.
Ivan Rakitic was the first man coming out, who also scored the first goal in that final and so energetically introduced fresh impetus and proper direction to his team throughout the season. The Croatian has sped things up by releasing the rampage of attack more frequently. Rakitic shared his first Champions League medal with his young daughter, while both Luis Suarez and Neymar clearly wanted to share their first successes in the Champions league with their children too.
Next, the three-time champion Dani Alves came out with joyful bopping of his body along with the sound of music, which was coming from a set of speakers he was carrying. The joy was a reflection of his great success who had rediscovered his mojo this season along with many other players.
Then, the magnificent Leo Messi came to the arena carrying his son in one arm. He then switched his boy to other in order to shake the hand of Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri, whom he had spotted chatted to Italian media. Messi had shown a great sportsmanship to go with his place at the apex of the sporting world.
The Champions league trophy was then carried out by no other than one man, the captain Xavi. He held one arm of the prized piece of hardware, while the other arm was held by his long-time midfield partner Sergio Busquets. The other one of that fantastic central midfield trio Andres Iniesta said,
“The picture of Xavi leaving with the Champions League trophy in his arm is the most beautiful one for a footballer like him.”
There is one person who was assuredly striding out at the back of it all and he is Gerard Pique. He mentioned how Barcelona had “suffered” in the final when it went on to 1-1 following Morata’s goal. But Pique felt that the Morata score only brought out the spirit to the team that has sparked a treble season. The Barcelona team have rediscovered the motivation with so many talents, is the most remarkable aspect of all, especially from a historical point of view. All
Assuredly striding out at the back of it all, as ever and as he had done in this final, was Gerard Pique. He talked about how the team had “suffered” in the final, using some choice language about when it went to 1-1 following Alvaro Morata’s goal, but felt that the Morata score only brought out the spirit and defiance that has sparked a treble season. All three trophies of Barcelona’s treble are on the top of the display during their double-decker bus parade in Barcelona. It was quite a picture to capture and the Barca fans will remember it for long time.
While Real Madrid won five European Cups between 1955 and 1966, there were four key players who were involved in the first to last season with the team. Then came Liverpool, winning four titles between 1977-1984, having only one such player. In Milan’s triple between 1989-1994, there were six players with that potential. And with Barcelona, the number is seven.