The discrepancy in offensive firepower had to have been the most glaring fact on Saturday when the two superpowers Barcelona and Juventus squared off to crown the champion of the UEFA champion’s league final.
The mere trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez combined to score a record 120 goals in all competitions while Juventus entire roster was able to convert on only 103 goals all season. Despite such disparity, the Italian giants would not be taken lightly as the quality up top, although not as potent as the blaugranas is still just as capable of slotting in timely goals in quick succession.
Much to the chagrin of the Juventus side, most believed Barcelona’s attack had a decidedly huge advantage over the Giorgio Chiellini-less backline for the old lady, as he was ruled out with a calf tear.
The Catalan side would take full advantage of this roll of fortune, they went on to take a 1-0 lead 4 minutes into the game with fantastic lead up play which saw Ivan Rakitic alone inside the box with a rather easily placed goal.
As most finals usually go, desperation and raw emotion set in immediately after the premature goal. Both sides would go on to score cheeky goals in the latter stages of the final, rebounds that came from lunging stops by the goalkeeper. In the end, Juventus’ pit bull style of play came up short of the grand prize, as they would have to settle with being runners up for the 6th time in their history, more than any other team in Europe.
As for Barcelona, they became the first team in history to complete two trebles in their history with the other one coming in the 2008-09 season, catapulting this club into the upper echelon of sports royalty.
The much maligned Luis Enrique, whose future has been shored up until the end of the 2016-17 season, became the fourth coach in history to win the treble during his first season at a club -- among that group, Pep Guardiola.
Surveying the team as a whole, they set club records in total wins in a season (50), winning percentage (83.30%) and clean sheets (33). It seriously doesn't get much better than that.
The glorified duo of Neymar and Messi couldn’t complete the season without checking into Europe’s record book, they became the only duo in the history of Champions league/ Europa League with 10+ goals each.
After them, Eusebio and Jose with 9 (Benfica 1964/65). As if I haven’t already doused you with enough records and stats, Barcelona also stands on its very own in total League + European Cups, in other words, La Liga and the UCL in the same season.
The Blaugrana have five doubles, the closest teams behind them are Ajax and Bayern Munich tied with three. With the likes of Suarez who is 28 years old, Messi 27, and Neymar only 23 the idea that more records can't be broken and more titles can't be won is a far cry in the wrong direction.
The MSN trident is only one year in and they will continue to smell blood, lots of blood, for years to come.
Buckle in Cules, it should be a fun ride!
Published by Alexander Del Valle. Follow him on Twitter @AlexanderDelV