Luis Enrique leaves with feeling of mission accomplished

It's been a theme of the Luis Enrique era and the departing coach, for one last time, took the chance to laud the Argentina global.

Luis Enrique capped his three-year stint with the club with his ninth title out of a possible 13.

"I am the one who has made a decision to stop because it will be the best for me and the for the players, they need potent and intense stimulus".

He said players always need new challenges and will benefit from a change in leadership, and the club will certainly keep winning despite his departure.

Barca looked to wind down the clock for the remainder of the game, and despite giving it their all, Alaves had to settle for defeat as Enrique signed off his Barcelona tenure with the Copa del Rey trophy.

What a game! FC Barcelona and Deportivo Alaves met on May 27 in the thrilling conclusion to the 2017 Copa del Rey and what followed was a wonderful exhibition of pure soccer magic.

He said: "Luis [Enrique] has done a very good job and we are very grateful". These things happen. It's true that I experienced hard times, but just when things were changing and I was starting to play with confidence, I had the bad luck of injuring myself. "I have enjoyed the opportunity to make them happy".

As for the match itself, after an aggressive start from the small Basque side and a hesitant, patient approach from Barcelona, it was Messi kicking off an eventful final 18 minutes of the half, finishing off a nice play from just outside the box, assisted by Neymar. In the beginning, most of the experts and fans were saying that Luis Enrique is still using Pep Guardiola's team and that he wins trophies with the team already created. "There is no doubt that he is the best player in the world".

Moments later, Theo Hernandez bent in a free-kick to equalise, but Neymar scored from close range before Messi played in Paco Alcacer for the third on the stroke of half-time.

With talk that the Argentina defender is set to leave Barcelona this summer after seven years at the club, it would represent a sad end to Mascherano's trophy-filled time in Catalonia.

  • Julie Sanders