Barcelona: Thousands of fans took to the streets of Barcelona on Sunday to celebrate their club’s fifth Champions League win, decking the Catalan capital out with flags, shirts, scarves and confetti.
“Champions, second treble, we continue to write history” was the triumphant message written on the side of the coach ferrying Luis Suarez, who scored the decisive goal in the 3-1 defeat of Juventus, Lionel Messi, and the rest of the team to the Camp Nou where a crowd of 67,000 were awaiting them.
“The treble of 2009 was magic because it was the first. But to do it twice, that’s enormous,” said one fan, Adrian Llamazares referring to Saturday’s trophy in Berlin coming after the Liga and Cup titles.
“I was confident from the start of the season,” chipped in Sara Marco with her grand-daughter enthusiastically waving a Catalan flag. But the sixty-something grandmother was perhaps the only one to have had belief at the start of January when Barcelona suffered a major internal crisis with frosty relations between coach Luis Enrique and Messi.
But then the Catalan giants pressed hard on the accelerator to become a winning machine.
“We were speaking of the end of a cycle, but the cycle is Messi, regardless of the manager and the rest of the players, Barcelona can always win,” suggested 41-year-old David Blasco.
With fans shouting out the name of their idols, and tourists joining in the party atmosphere the team made its smiling way to their iconic stadium, dancing and singing in the open top bus.
“Our hero is Messi, because he’s the best in the world. He does incredible things, almost without blinking,” Nuiri Boada said. “But we also want to say goodbye to Xavi,” she added quickly, in reference to the record-breaking Barca captain who is leaving the club to join Qatari side Al Sadd.
Xavi’s name, along with Messi, Suarez and the third member of the strikeforce Neymar, were the names that rang out most.