FC Barcelona have landed in Asia to contest for their fourth trophy of the season. The Blaugranas have had a memorable year as they completed an unprecedented second treble – a feat never achieved in the history of the game.
Luis Enrique led his men in red and blue to the La Liga title, the Copa del Rey title and the UEFA Champions League title. They also won the UEFA Super Cup defeating Sevilla in a thrilling encouunter; a match in which Lionel
Messi scored two beautiful free kicks. Barca could had kept a perfect record in terms of trophies and could have secured a chance to repeat the historical sextuple they secured in 2009 by winning the Spanish Super Cup, if it wasn’t for a heroic performance by the Basque conutry club striker Adruiz.
Now Barca will look to conclude this memorable season with a triumph in Japan as they get ready to face Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande. If any major upset doesn’t takes place, all signs point towards a clash between Argentinean Champions River Plate and European Champions Barcelona. However, Luis Enrique will be vary of any complacency that may have crept in his squad as the Catalans after destroying Real Madrid and As Roma 4-0 and 6-1, having played their next 3 matches in draws barring the Copa del Rey clash with Villanovense. Their defense looked shaky and a sense of urgency to finish off the matches seemed lacking as Barca, as recently as in their last match after leading the game with 2 goals conceded twice in the last stage of the game thus reducing the 6 points advantage over their arch rivals Real Madrid to just 2 points.
Neymar Jr. looks set to miss the Semifinal as he is still not 100% recovered from his groin injury he got in training. However, for the relief of Luis Enrique, Messi looks more and more in game rhythm after coming back from his 2-months layoff due to injury. The Argentine superstar scored a brilliant free kick from 27 yards and had a big impact on the team’s gameplay.
Also, Barca would be looking back to the memorable time they had in this tournament six years back as they outplayed and outclassed Brazilian club Santos, of which Neymar was a part of back then . Lionel Messi dazzled through out the match as Barca secured a comfortable win by a margin of 4-0.
Also, Lucho will be sweating on the form of his two center backs – Jeremy Mathieu and the usually reliable Javier Mascherano. The two were at a major fault in conceding the two goals against Deportivo which ultimately cost Barca two points and a comfortable lead at the top. If Real and Barca both win their next two matches, Barca could see themselves starting at the the third spot in the league in New Year given that they would had played a game less.
In five days, we’ll see Luis Enrique’s men battle it out thousands of miles away from their home and football fans from all over the world would be hoping to see the holy triumvirate of Messi, Neymar and Suarez on the pitch – a trio who has scored more goals than any other team in Europe this season.
All in all, capping off the year with another trophy would be a perfect finish to the season of the treble champions as only the Champions of Europe get to take part in this tournament. Add to it the three other trophies. A good time to be proud of your club, Barca fans !