Barcelona won their fifth UEFA Champions League title in history after beating Juventus by a score of 3-1. Ivan Rakitic started the scoring for Barca in the fourth minute, while Luis Saurez (68th minute) and Neymar (stoppage time) put the match away in the second half.
This has been a huge season for Barcelona, given that they won their first title since 2011, along with the La Liga title and Spanish King’s Cup. All of this looks especially impressive for Luis Enrique, a former Spanish midfielder who’s coaching his first year at the Barca helm.
“It’s incredible, a dream, something unique,” said an excited Suarez. “To win these competitions you have to suffer, if not it’s not worth it, and today we had to suffer to win the match.”
Things obviously weren’t so cheerful for Juventus, which becomes the first club to love six Champions League finals. They have also lost their last four matches on Europe’s biggest stage.
“We believed we had a chance of pulling off this great feat but we didn’t manage it and the best team won,” said Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. “In football that doesn’t always happen but this time that was the case.”
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s look at a quick recap of Barcelona’s 3-1 victory over Juve.
Rakitic’s goal at four minutes was actually the fourth-fastest goal in Champions League history. All 10 outfield players touched the ball on the possession, with captain Andres Iniesta finding Rakitic for the first score. If not for Buffon’s excellent one-handed save in the 13th minute, on a shot by Dani Alves, Barcelona would have had a quick 2-0 lead.
Barcelona takes Control in Second Half
Three minutes into the second half, Alvaro Morata, a former Real Madrid striker, was able to give Juve their first score. This goal gave Juve life since they’d previously been struggling to keep Barcelona’s talented lineup from getting good shots.
However, the match would quickly swing into Barca’s favor, when Lionel Messi’s shot was deflected by Buffon, only for Saurez to find the net afterward. Not long after this, Neymar had a goal disallowed because his header bounced off his outstretched hand before going into the net. The Brazilian star forward wasn’t happy by any means, but he would get another chance in stoppage time, putting Barcelona up 3-1 and ending any hope for Juve.
This is the last ride for Juventus’ core group, given that their average age is 30 and they’re Europe’s second-oldest team. This aging group fought hard in the finals, but the talented trio of Neymar, Saurez and Messi proved too much.
Barca’s Xavi has played his last game for the Catalan club, while it’s a wonder how many seasons Iniesta has left. The midfielder is now the first Barcelona player to have played in four European finals.