BERLIN: Luis Enrique will long remember his debut season in charge of Barcelona writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Barca ended up, after a midseason dip, winning the treble of Champions League, Spanish league and cup. They wrapped up the hat-trick with their 3-1 win over Italy’s Juventus in the European final. Victory was deserved but not until the end of stoppage time did Neymar claim the goal which added a realistic tinge to the scoreline.
Luis Enrique paid tribute to Juventus. He said: “This final was spectacular because it was against a top-level opponent. When they were 1-0 down they caused us a lot of trouble even though we generated opportunities of our own – before we wrote history again for Barcelona.
“It started perfectly for us by scoring a goal from the first opportunity. We dominated the first half but Buffon was at absolutely his top level.
“The second half went as I expected. Juventus started to press more strongly and scored and we felt we had to struggle. But I felt we were always superior and we deserved to win.”
Barcelona, said Enrique, had playd 60 matches, losing only six and drawing four. He added: “I think these figures show this one of the greatest seasons of a great such as Barcelona.
“This club needs to receive more title. We need to feed off them to remain the best club in Europe. The players have all shown they still have a hunger for all these trophies and titles. We want to keep it going.”
Not that Luis Enrique was totally satisfied with his night’s work. He was effusive in praise of Neymar and Lionel Messi and considered the event to have been a “beautiful final” even though Juventus “had the chance to turn the score around at various points.”
As for the six titles in a year once won by Barcelona under Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique was not prepared to offer an opinion.
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