By Ana D.
The beginning of June brings many things. Exams, the mad rush to finish overdue assignments, the promise of summer, and most importantly, the UEFA Champions League final. After defeating Bayern and Real Madrid in the semis, FC Barcelona beat Juventus 3-1 claiming its fifth title. All in all it was a very exciting and emotional match.
Barca started off on the right foot with a goal not even four minutes into the game. The setup was perfect, ending with Iniesta passing it to Rakitic who managed to get the ball around Buffon. Four minutes later Vidal, looking for an early equalizer, attempted to put the ball in the net but shot over, not a very positive start for the Italians overall. The rest of the first half was failed attempts, both on and off target and mostly by FCB, with Buffon making some pretty spectacular saves. Juventus played a bit desperately (likely a result of the early Spanish goal), and as a result they got two yellow cards. The first yellow was given to Vidal for sliding into Busquets’ foot. Personally, I think that Vidal played really dirty the entire game, committing fouls a little too often. The yellow card was well deserved. The second yellow was given to Pogba for a foul on Messi. The second half of the match was much more exciting with a total of three goals being scored during it. The first was in the 55th minute by Juventus. Tevez attempts to score but the ball gets blocked by ter Stegen. Fortunately (for Juve at least), Morata was nearby and was able to take the rebound bringing the score to 1-1. Barca and Juve trade shots on and off target until the 68th minute when Suarez takes Messi’s rebound and scores. Two minutes later Suarez is booked with a foul on Bonucci. In the 71st minute Neymar scores with a header! Except no, because the ball accidentally bounced off his shoulder and hand making it no goal. Following a grand total of six substitutions including Iniesta and Xavi (Iniesta out, Xavi in), Neymar is able to make up for that almost goal with a shot in the 90+7th minute making the score 3-1 and ending the game.
Iniesta substituted out for Xavi so that Xavi (as the captain) could get a chance to raise the trophy one final time before leaving European soccer. As Martin Chao said “It was an appropriate finish to a legendary career.” It was Pirlo’s last game as well but despite pushing hard and playing well, Juve lost to the Spaniards. “I am very disappointed that Real Madrid could not defeat Juventus to make it to the final. But I have lots of respect for Juventus and they put up a fight against Barcelona today.” comments Pablo Rodriguez. It was a stunning game and well worth watching. I am proud to be a Barcelona fan this week.