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Jun 7, 2015

  • FC Barcelona secures fourth title in Last ten Years.
  • Barca won their fifth European Cup beating Juventus in Berlin.
Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom. George S. Patton

Last December no one would have dreamed about this; we were in complete tatters, the team was disintegrating, trailing heavily in League and Europe wasn't much different. But from the start of 2015 the entire story changed and now we have completed an unprecedented second treble. No European team has ever done that. Now with this team, creating history is not such a big story, it's quite a usual stuff. This was not the vintage Barca performance, they struggled at the hands of Italian Champions at times. But then Luis Enrique has instilled a Warrior mentality in this team, a mentality which allows them to bounce back from whatever pressure that's been exerted upon them. The match started perfectly for Barca going 1-0 up very early in the match. Juventus equalised early on in the second half but as it has been this whole season - when it mattered Messi raised his game which allowed us to restore the lead. From there on there was no doubt about the outcome of the result, and Neymar's goal at the end of the match was just the icing on the cake.

As I wrote in the preview of the match, there was no doubt how Barca would have lined up. Our starting line-up was as expected - Ter Stegan, Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta, Messi, Saurez and Neymar. The match started in perfect fashion. We went ahead in the 4th minute with a brilliant piece of team-play started by Messi and finished off by Rakitic. Messi sent in his trademark over the top acr ball releasing Alba on the left, Alba squared it for Neymar whose first touch was uncharacteristically poor, but he still managed to hold on to it and slip it to Iniesta show terrorized the back line and slipped it to Rakitic for a simple finish. Juventus back line which had to be reorganised following the loss of Chiellieni were not prepared for such a brilliant piece of team play. That early goal allowed Barca to dictate the play and we created a host of chances in the first half. In the 13th minute Alves forced a brilliant one handed save from Buffon; that was the vintage Buffon on display. Game was totally in control of Barca and Juventus midfield were getting frustrated. Vidal was lucky to stay on the pitch and had to thank the Turkish referee for being a bit lenient. Slowly Juventus were coming in to the game and their midfield's physical presence was creating a problem for Barca. The half ended with Saurez forcing a brilliant save from Buffon.

A 1-0 lead is always dangerous and especially against an Italian team. And we were left to rue those missed chances in first half when Morata equalised for Juventus after we failed to clear the ball in our defensive third. From then on the Italians started growing into the game and there was a fear that the Italians physical presence were becoming too much for Barca to handle. Now when the chips are down Messi rises. And he was instrumental in creating the second gol, his run created havoc and his fierce shot could only be parried away by Buffon which felt kind to Saurez who made no mistake. From then on it was virtually impossible for Juventus to come back. They did their best with attacks but our defense held on. With just seconds left, Neymar sealed the Trophy with a good finish from a counter-attack.

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