Barcelona Now Have The Amount Of European Cups Their Reputation Deserves
Barcelona have moved level with Bayern Munich and Liverpool on five European Cups following this success – which isn’t bad considering that they were still to win one when Bayern had three and Liverpool four.
Only AC Milan (seven) and Real Madrid (10) have more victories, and Barca have now finally arrived at a level they deserve to be at, as if European football has got a top table they have to be seen at the head of it.
A Good Juventus Is Good For The Game
How great was it to see Juventus – one of the grand old names of European football – slugging it out with Barca right to the very end?
Following a few years of turmoil for both the club and Serie A, this was the Italian giants back the very summit of the continental game – although it was to ultimately end in a record sixth final defeat.
They gave as good as they got against a Barca side who seemed to be knocked out of their stride at the beginning of the second half, and they’ll have to endure an evening, weeks and months of wondering what might have been.
Hopefully they’ll be back though.
The Luis Suarez Story Has Another Chapter
Vilified – usually by events which are his own fault – and loved in equal measure, there are few footballers who have come along in the past decade of the game who are so eminently watchable as Luis Suarez.
Having helped Liverpool into the Champions League last season here he was winning it for Barcelona with the type of goal that he has become accustomed to scoring with so many quality players around him.
He has been the cut to Barca’s thrust ever since arriving in the summer, and this was a fitting end to a fantastic first season at the club.
Gianluigi Buffon Deserves To Win The Champions League One Day
He’s 37, but there is a reason why Gianluigi Buffon’s £32.6m move from Parma to Juventus in 2001 is still the record amount that a goalkeeper has been transferred for: no-one has come along who is as consistently good as him since.
The Italian veteran experienced defeat in a Champions League final for the second time in his career 12 years on from the penalty shootout defeat to AC Milan at Old Trafford, and you can only have sympathy for such a well-respected figure in the world game.
Twice in the first half he saved his side from being blown away by a Barca side who threatened to run away with it – once with a smart stop from Luis Suarez, but before that with a world class save from Dani Alves, which he then followed up with a stunning stop from Suarez early in the second period.
Arturo Vidal Was A Little Bit Too Excited
For some players, appearing on the biggest club stage there is inspires great levels of both emotion and performance, whilst for others it all seems to get a little bit too overwhelming.
Arturo Vidal was very much in the latter camp in the opening 20 minutes of the clash in Berlin, where the Chilean careered around the Olympiastadion colliding with Barca limbs more than he did the ball.
His booking after 11 minutes was the second fastest ever in a Champions League final, and he was lucky not to get a second one.