Spain euphoric about Barcelona’s triple

May 28th, 2009 - 9:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, May 28 (DPA) The whole of Spain Thursday celebrated Barcelona’s historic title treble of league, cup and Champions League.
Barca became only the fifth team in Europe to achieve the treble by beating defending holders Manchester United 2-0 in the Champions League final in Rome.

Josep Guardiola’s sumptuous side now join the hallowed list of team’s who have won the three titles in one year: Glasgow Celtic (1967), Ajax Amsterdam (1972), PSV Eindhoven (1988) and Manchester United (1999).

Never before has a Spanish team - not even the legendary Real Madrid team of the late 1950s - managed this feat.

“This is a historic achievement,” said former Barca right-back Albert Ferrer, who was analysing the final for television channel Antena 3.

Ferrer, part of Johan Cruyff’s “Dream Team” which gave Barca a first Champions Cup in 1992, generously said that “this is the best Barcelona team ever, and the best team in the world right now.”

Barca’s triumph in Rome was front-page news in every Spanish newspaper Thursday, with prestigious Madrid paper El Pais leading the way by giving out a free colour supplement in praise of the triumph.

Conservative paper La Razon, for its part, took pride in the fact that Spain moved to the top of the Champions winners’ list with 12 titles (nine for Real and three for Barca), ahead of England and Italy who have 11 titles each.

“Let us hope that this Spanish domination continues,” said La Razon, “and let us hope that there is at least one Spanish team in next year’s final,” which is to be staged in Real’s Estadio Santiago Bernabeu for the fourth time.

As expected, the Catalan newspapers went into overdrive about the latest Barca triumph, the third within two weeks.

El Periodico singled out goalscorers Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi for special praise, whilst La Vanguardia preferred to focus on playmaker Xavi, voted best player of the final.

La Vanguardia also reflected how the situation of Barca president Joan Laporta has changed in just nine months. Last August Laporta was almost ousted from office by a no-confidence vote organized by club members annoyed at his alleged arrogance, and at the fact that no trophies had been won since 2006.

Sports dailies Mundo Deportivo and Sport focussed on the remarkable achievements of Guardiola, 38, one of the youngster coaches ever to win the Champions Cup - and this without having any previous top-line coaching experience.

The Catalan papers also gave full details of Thursday evening’s victory parade, when Guardiola and company were due to show off the latest trophy in the city’s streets.

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