As Barcelona continue to celebrate their memorable treble sweep of honours this season, Lionel Messi has predicted even more glory will follow.
Luis Enrique’s side regained La Liga from Atletico Madrid last month, finishing two points ahead of closest rivals Real Madrid to earn a 23rd title. They followed this up by beating Athletic Bilbao to record a 27th Copa del Rey trophy, meaning they could secure a clean sweep of honours when they faced Juventus in the UEFA Champions League final on Saturday evening.
Even though the Bianconeri were also gunning for a treble having retained their Serie A title and won the Coppa Italia, the Spaniards were the better side in Berlin and ran out 3-1 winners courtesy of goals from Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez and Neymar. This is the fifth time Barcelona side been crowned European champions, meaning only Real and Milan have won it more.
But some are predicting a new era of dominance from the Camp Nou side, and none more so than Messi. The three-time Ballon d’Or winner was basking in the end-of-season celebrations when he fired this warning to his side’s rival clubs: “We’ll continue because we eager to keep winning things. Being back here is spectacular. We have to enjoy it as much as possible.”
One player who may not be involved in any future success for Barca is Dani Alves. The Brazilian international has been at the club since 2008 and has won 19 major honours including La Liga title five times, and the Copa del Rey and Champions League three apiece. But he is out of contract later this month, and he has hinted that his time in Catalonia may be at an end.
“I thank all my teammates, the staff and all of you [the fans] for making me happy at this club,” said the 32-year-old former Sevilla defender on Sunday. “I don’t know how much longer this dream will go on for. I don’t know if [this dream] has come to an end, but I hope it stays eternal. I’ve always been happy here and I’ll still be happy when I leave because I’m one of you.”