Europe has a new champion. FC Barcelona is their name . It is the 4th Champions League trophy in a decade. Amazing right? They conquered Juventus in a final that didn’t exactly start until Juventus replied Barca’s 4th minute goal in the second half. It was a game that had a lot of talking pointe. Of them all, I’ve picked three:
Juventus’ “Italian” Style of Football
The players weren’t scared to jump in (sometimes fly in) and make tackles. They weren’t even scared of the referee’s cards (Vidal especially). Every tackle was one that had to be won. They came into the final as underdogs and played the final the best way they knew how, the same way that got them this far: keep it tidy at the back and surprise them up front. Their defense stiffled and, most times succeeded in man-handling Messi. Pogba and Vidal were all over the place. They made the most of their tackling which was, in some sort, their strong point. But they had a weak point which was…
Barcelona’s Counterattacking Play
Barcelona’s pace whenever they were on the counter was scary (as usual, a Barcelona fan would say). Juventus most times left themselves vulnerable at the back by committing too many players going forward and Barca seized this oportunity with both hands. They were more than a handful for the Old Lady whenever they attacked because the did it en masse with 5, sometimes 6 players at once. They were fast. They were quick and counterattacking earned them three goals (one was cancelled). So much for counterattacking.
Barcelona’s Individual Play Makes Barca
Maybe Barcelona isn’t all team work. Maybe there’s more. Tall claim right? Check this:
– A Neymar who played like one desperate for UCL Final goal (and got two)
– A quiet but effiicient Luis Suarez who did a lot of running on and off the ball pressuring the opponents
– Rakitic the enforcer
– Messi pulling the strings while sitting deep
– The hard-battling duo of Mascherano and Pique
Iniest’s vision for Barcelona’s first, Suarez’s perfect positioning for the second and Neymar’s two goals. Three different goalscorers in a Champions League Final says it all.
Note Worthy Mentions
– Messi failing to make it a hattrick of UCL Final goalscoring.
– Juventus putting Italy back on European football’s map
Oh yeah, and Pirlo cried.