Players of FC Barcelona celebrate after the UEFA Champions League final match between Juventus F.C. and FC Barcelona in Berlin, Germany, June 6, 2015. FC Barcelona won 3-1 and claimed the title. (Xinhua/Zhang Fan)
Players of FC Barcelona celebrate after the UEFA Champions League final match between Juventus F.C. and FC Barcelona in Berlin, Germany, June 6, 2015. FC Barcelona won 3-1 and claimed the title. (Xinhua/Zhang Fan)

By Oliver Trust

Having won the second “treble” in its history, 2015 Champions League winner FC Barcelona have again set a benchmark in international football.

Players of FC Barcelona celebrate after the UEFA Champions League final match between Juventus F.C. and FC Barcelona in Berlin, Germany, June 6, 2015. FC Barcelona won 3-1 and claimed the title. (Xinhua/Zhang Fan)
Players of FC Barcelona celebrate after the UEFA Champions League final match between Juventus F.C. and FC Barcelona in Berlin, Germany, June 6, 2015. FC Barcelona won 3-1 and claimed the title. (Xinhua/Zhang Fan)

On top, beating Juventus Turin in this season’ s final by 3-1 (goals Ivan Rakitic 4th, Alvaro Morata 55th, Luis Suarez 68th, Neymar 90th), the so-called “trident” (Messi, Neymar, Suarez) have set an impressive goal-scoring record of 122 goals in this campaign.
On top “Barca” now is the only team having won the treble twice.
So fans around the globe are again convinced that the world’ s best team has won the most important club trophy. But after the celebrations the Spaniards will have some important homework to do. Maybe the most important of all, to secure the future of its coach Luis Enrique who to date has not yet confirmed that he will fulfill his current contract running until 2016.
After Enrique has been able to improve the team’ s performance to a new level, it seems impossible that Enrique will leave. But the Barcelona coach was recently unhappy with the club’ s support for him. So it seems likely that the 45-year-old will wait until the presidential elections of the club within the next six to eight weeks.
After all the club legend is the man that convinced Lionel Messi to change his game and leave the center of Barca’ s attacking game to provide space for Suarez and Neymar. Messi and Barcelona found their way back to happiness after they had to go through a crisis.
For a while Enrique and Messi had a difficult time and their relationship seemed to be unstable. And Barcelona fans were full of doubts as nearly 70 percent felt Luis Enrique was Barcelona’ s problem. Enrique could now be the winner because after his work Barcelona is not just Messi anymore but a real team.
Now they are back (Enrique and Messi) and have won the 2015 Champions League for the fifth time after 1992, 2006, 2009 (first treble) and 2013. Enrique will most likely get some new assistants (Enrique’ s former team mate Angel Nadal, uncle of tennis star Rafael Nadal, is a candidate) and stay at Barcelona.
Midfielder Xavi Hernandez will leave the club for Qatar after four Champions League titles and 151 Champions League games. The contract of defender Dani Alves will run out soon and to date he has refused to sign a new one.
“We’ ve played some outstanding football this season,” said Barcelona’ s keeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen. The story behind the 23-year old German U-21 keeper is a special one as well. Ter Stegen only played in cup and Champions League games and Claudio Bravo (32) was between the posts for league games.
For the first time in Champions League history, a team from the same country has won the competition two years in a row. In 2014 it was by Spanish rival Real Madrid.
The route of 2015 champions Barcelona (4-3-3 system) to the European throne was a hard one as the team had to beat teams like Manchester City and Paris St. Germain before they had to face Bayern Munich.
But like the other teams before, Juventus Turin (average of 30.4 years, second oldest team in a Champions League final) was not able to stop the season’ s top team which has fully deserved Europe’ s most important club title.
In the Berlin final it was clear that Juventus (4-3-1-2 system) did not have the class to stop Barcelona after the Italians only caused problems for their opponents late in the game.
Speaking about the runners-up Turin: To reach this season’ s Champions League final was a surprise for the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Italian champions. But immediately after the team, seen as the underdogs, had beaten favorites Real Madrid in the semi-final, it was obvious there is more behind it all than just luck.
It still might be a “typical” Italian style Juventus. Meaning: Defense is an important part of their game. Nevertheless Juve stands for the fact that tactics and the ability to control a game’ s tempo are the fundament of modern football.
Turin’ s “success” (or the surprise to have spoilt Real Madrid’ s season) is down to a man not many fans believed in. Over 91 percent of Juve fans were full of doubts when the 47-year-old Livorno-born coach took over in 2014. Allegri (at AC Milan from 2010 – 2014) had a hard task of convincing the fans, but he did.
He broadened his team’ s tactical horizon from a 3-5-2 system to a slightly more offensive 4-3-1-2 system. And he proved he was able to organize a team and that it fits perfectly with the ambitions of the 1996 Champions League winner. Allegri’ s predecessor, Turin legend Antonio Conte, left a year ago after he accused the club of not doing enough to be successful on the international stage.
Still Juventus is not on the same level as for instance Barcelona, Real or Chelsea are at present due to a team with more outstanding stars. And having lost the final might be a lost opportunity.
In the near future the club will have to replace older players like the world class goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (37) and midfielder Andrea Pirlo (36) who are both key players and leaders.
Against Barcelona, Turin’ s defense had problem to replace defender Giorgio Chiellini who was out injured.
Shortly before the final in Berlin, the Italians announced they were signing Real Madrid’ s midfielder and 2014 World Cup winner Sami Khedira. But there are rumors that striker Carlos Tevez (contract until 2016) could leave the club as Atletico Madrid is interested. Enditem

-Xinhua

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