It’s arguably the most prestigious match in world football and last Saturday, it was Barcelona (Barca) facing a revived and impressive Juventus (Juve) side. With all the build-up being naturally the best marinade for a perfect evening of entertaining sport, the game itself was not short of gasps, roars and cheers.
Barcelona, as many expected, became champions of Europe for a fifth time after a wildly entertaining final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. The Spanish champions carved their name in history as they handed their coach Luis Enrique the Champions League to add to La Liga and the Copa del Rey in his first season.
Do not be fooled, however, into thinking that Juventus didn’t turn up for the match. For most of the first half and indeed the second, Juventus showed resilience and sheer grit. The main reason why the score sheet said 3 – 1 to Barcelona is that Juventus were largely on the offensive and didn’t invest much defensively on the night.
Inspired by the superstar attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Suarez and Neymar, the current Barca team can certainly stand in comparison with others that brought glory to the Nou Camp in the past. For many, this is “the best Barcelona team ever”, Physiotherapist Kenwyn Jules told TNT.
“And you know, they [Barca] will be just as difficult next season because they are young enough to produce again and show not the slightest sign of fatigue”, Jules added.
The Messi, Suarez and Neymar attacking partnership is superb for any number of reasons, not least the winding movement, but it was the sharpness of their outstanding link-up play.
Andres Iniesta showed true leadership when Juve struck back and his defence was wobbling – controlling the tempo, clawing his side’s way back on top with his passing and speed of thought.
For Juventus, Alvaro Morata was excellent and the midfield used his and former Manchester United forward Carlos Tevez’s movement to work the equaliser and shift the momentum their way in the second-half.
Ultimately, it was an impressively absorbing match with Barcelona the deserved winners for their greater ability to move the opposition around and exploit the space.