The majestic Argentine put on a regal showing, bouncing back from last weekend’s disappointing Clasico display by becoming the all-time record goalscorer in Copa finals, with 10, as he lifted the trophy for a seventh time.
The coach showed, at last, that he could guide Barcelona to victory in a big game – and an emphatic victory at that – while versatile Netherlands international De Jong proved he belongs in his favoured midfield role.
This, though, was an evening where it all went right for Barcelona, the kind of night where the painful defeats of recent years kind of melted away, ending with the ticker tape fluttering into the sky and Messi holding yet another trophy.
Mesut Ozil has also spoken out on Twitter, with the World Cup winner saying: “Kids grow up dreaming to win the World Cup and the Champions League – not any Super League.
He was always earmarked as a player of huge potential, a gifted natural talent with skill and footballing arrogance, but it was when Steven Gerrard took over as U18s coach in 2017 that he started the build the kind of all-round game we see now.
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