Barcelona Lifts Copa del Rey as Messi shows class and sets new record

FC Barcelona demolished Athletic Bilbao with four unreplied goals in Saturdays Copa del Rey final in Seville to lift the 2021 edition.

This marks Barca’s first trophy of the season and they could as well make it two should they win the 2021 Laliga

Two of the goals came from Lionel Messi who has now passed Telmo Zarra as the all-time leading Copa del Rey final goalscorer with his second-half brace on Saturday in Barcelona’s 4-0 victory over Athletic Club.

In his post-game press conference, head coach Ronald Koeman expressed his desire to see Messi stay at Barca beyond this season.

“Messi is a winner. We have to talk about all our players because they deserve this title. But Messi makes the difference. All of us want Messi to stay here,” Koeman said.

Barca president Joan Laporta added to Telecinco: “Messi is the best player in the world and we will do all we can to get him to stay.”

Messi spoke about the win after the match and how he was feeling.

“It’s very special to be the captain of this club. It’s a very special Copa for me because I’m able to lift it,” he said.

“Not being able to celebrate it with our fans is a pity. The situation is what we have to live with. It’s a shame. The Copas are always special and the fans enjoy them a lot.

“These are two clubs that are used to these finals and [used to] enjoying them a lot.”

The 33-year-old also offered his thoughts on the season so far and feels the team are getting stronger after a tough start to the 2020-21 campaign.

“We found it difficult to get started in the first half of the season. We dropped points out of innocence,” he said.

“We’ve been getting stronger, very good, and we’re in the title race. The other day, unfortunately, we weren’t able to get a good result in the Clasico.”

Source | Barca TV

30-goal streak

In addition to breaking the Copa del Rey final record, Messi also scored his 30th goal in all competitions this year, a mark he’s reached 13 times in a row.

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Team-mate Ilaix Moriba, who came off the bench Saturday, was four years old the last time Messi failed to score at least 30 goals in a season.

How did Messi score?

Messi’s goals came in quick succession. The first was in the 68th minute, as he played a give-and-go with Frenkie de Jong and chopped inside to open up a window to roll the ball past goalkeeper Unai Simon. Four minutes later, he beat Simon with a first-time finish to the near post.

The win marks his 35th title as a Barcelona player, with eight games to add a 36th in the shape of La Liga. His performance was stellar, epitomised in the way he took Barcelona’s third goal against the Basque side, driving from deep with his mythical guile, connecting perfectly with Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann before scoring.

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