The Catalan giants defeated Sevilla in a stunning 5-0 victory to lift the Copa del Rey title for the fourth consecutive time, which also saw departing legend Andres Iniesta score in his final final of the Spanish cup.
Blaugrana cruised to an easy victory over the Andalusians
Before the star of the game, online sportsbooks in Spain strongly favoured Barcelona to win the final (understandably so), which means for the ones of you that placed bets on the Catalan side weren’t disappointed.
Luis Suarez opened the scoring in the 14th minute thanks to an assist from the Philippe Coutinho from the wing, while Lionel Messi added another 17 minutes later to make it 2-0 on the scoreline for Barcelona. Five minutes before the half-time break, Messi assisted Suarez to make it a comfortable 3-0 – at this stage it was clear who was the dominant side and it wouldn’t get easier to Sevilla in the second half-half either.
In the 52nd minute, Barcelona icon Iniesta – who will soon be departing the club – managed to find himself in the right place to find the back of the net in his final appearance in the Spanish cup, which also happened to be the final itself. This is a fitting farewell from the Copa del Rey, and he’s only going to add to that success this year as Barcelona are set to lift the Spanish league title imminently.
The Brazilian Coutinho – who was wreaking havoc in Sevilla’s box all throughout the final – scored a goal himself before it was disallowed for a handball, but then he managed to convert a penalty and find himself on the scoresheet nonetheless to make it a massive 5-0 triumph for Barcelona.
Iniesta says goodbye in style before leaving for China
According to online sportsbook news, Iniesta will be leaving Nou Camp at the end of the season, after spending his entire career with Catalan powerhouse. As he’ll soon turn 34 years or age, there’s still plenty of game left in him which is why Iniesta will likely continue the remainder of his playing career in the Chinese Super League, with Chongqing Dangdai Lifan touted as the most likely destination.
Chinese money seems to be appealing even for the biggest players, as he’ll soon soon sign for Chongqing Dangdai Lifan. (Photo: Sky Sports)
The main sponsors of the Chinese side – SWM – have expressed their optimism in signing the Spanish midfielder at the end of the current season. “I am positive on introducing Iniesta,” said the chairman of SWM, Gong Daxing. “Iniesta’s arrival would be benefitial for Chongqing and a great bonus for our brand.”
Iniesta’s departure to Chongqing Dangdai Lifan – a club that was founded in 1995, when the Barcelona legend was just 11 years old – will bring an end to his 16-year career with the Blaugrana side, having first played a professional game in the 2002/03 season. With the Copa del Rey victory over Sevilla on Saturday – his 6th cup win – it brings Iniesta’s trophy haul to 31 titles with Barcelona, with another La Liga title on the way – it will be his 9th league medal.
On top of that, he has also won the Supercopa de Espana on 7 occasions, while lifting the Champions League a stunning 4 times – this allowed him to additionally win 3 UEFA Super Cups and also 4 FIFA Club World Cups. So far, Iniesta has played in 669 games for Barcelona, scoring on 56 times in the process – some of which were crucial goals that helped the club go on to win prestigious titles. His appearances place him only behind former teammate Xavi Hernandez, who has made a record of 767 outings. With his illustrious trophy haul and personal contribution to the Nou Camp side, Iniesta will go down as one of the best ever players that has put on the Blaugrana shirt.