Barcelona become the first team in history to win the treble on two occasions, after beating Juventus in the Champions League Final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.
Barcelona became the first team in history to win the treble, on two separate occasions, after defeating Juventus 3 v 1 in the Champions League final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.
It was one of the best Champions League finals in recent years, and the world of football needed it, after corrupt FIFA officials dragged our great game through the dirt this past fortnight.
The ornate Olympiastadion was packed to the rafters. It was a stunning setting, and it didn’t take long for the game to live up to its surroundings. Juventus were quick out of the trap. Barcelona looked rattled. And then, like only Barcelona can do, they tippy-tappied their way into the Juventus defense, Iniesta found Rakitic in the penalty area, and Barcelona were one nil up within the first four minutes.
It was a disastrous start for the neutral. A Barcelona mauling looked on the cards. Dani Alves denied a second Barcelona goal by a quite magnificent save by Gianluigi Buffon, who somehow managed to stick a giant paw out, whilst diving in the wrong direction, to prevent the Brazilian full-back from getting on the score sheet.
But Juventus dug deep. They are made of stern stuff. Despite Vidal trying is best to get sent off, the Old Lady settled down to the rhythm of the match, and as the referee blew the half time whistle, it was the Italians who would have preferred to play on.
When you have Messi, Neymar and Suarez in your front line, any team in the world is going to have to defend well. But Juventus also have goals in their team. You always felt they had a goal in them and it was no surprise when the former Real Madrid player Morata side-footed the ball into the back of the net, after Ter Stegen’s save from Tevez fell kindly at the Spaniards feet.
Morata, who was looking for his second Champions League medal in successive years, continued to look lively, Tevez was a handful, and Marchisio was having the game of his life. The possession stats started to even up, and Juventus looked the most likely to go on and win the competition.
But this is Barcelona we are talking about.
Juventus were on the attack when the ball broke free. Barcelona picked it up and before you knew it they were streaking down the pitch. Messi swerved into the box, struck a sweet shot, Buffon made the save, but just like at the other end when Juventus scored, the ball broke free, this time to Luis Suarez, and he slammed the ball home before heading towards the Barcelona fans to celebrate.
The Catalan giants shut the game down well after that. Juventus had a few chances, but nothing clear-cut. Then with time ebbing away, and Juventus pushing forward in search of an equalizer, Barcelona broke away, and Neymar put home his 10th Champions League goal of the season (tying with Ronaldo and Messi), to ensure that Barcelona would be crowned the champions of Europe for the fifth time in their history.
And to think, critics still believe that Luis Enrique could be on his way out in the summer.
It could only happen in football.