Mon, Jun 01, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Messi seals Copa del Rey title for Barca

MAKING HISTORY:Paris Saint-Germain’s victory in the Coupe de France final ensured that they became the first team in French soccer to achieve a domestic quadruple

AFP, PARIS

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, right, celebrates with Daniel Alves after scoring against Atheltic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

Barcelona added a Copa del Rey title to their La Liga crown on Saturday, while Paris Saint-Germain strolled to an incredible French quadruple, Arsenal retained the FA Cup in England and VfL Wolfsburg surprised Borussia Dortmund in Germany on a weekend of cup finals across Europe.

At the Camp Nou, a Lionel Messi-inspired Barcelona sealed a Spanish double for the Catalan side for the first time since 2009 as they swept aside Athletic Bilbao 3-1 to win the Copa de Rey for the 27th time.

The Argentine genius found the back of the net on both sides of a 36th-minute Neymar goal, who found himself at the end of a selfless pass from Luis Suarez.

There’s only one game left — the UEFA Champions League final against Juventus on Saturday — for Barcelona to repeat their historic 2009 season when they claimed an incredible quadruple, claiming La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions League and Club World Cup titles.

“I’m very happy after all we’ve managed to achieve and I congratulate the team,” Barcelona forward Neymar said. “Physically we felt good, we always controlled the game and we have to continue like that until the end.”

“Leo [Messi] is spectacular, he is an ace. For me he is the best player in the world and it is an honor to be part of this team, with players of such quality,” he added.

On the possibility of a third trophy with the Champions League looming, he said: “We have to stay calm. We’ve obtained the double, but there remains a week and 90 minutes to play.”

In the Stade de France, a lone strike from Edinson Cavani clinched the first domestic quadruple in French soccer history.

PSG, who already successfully defended their Ligue 1 title, and won the Coupe de la Ligue as well as the Trophee des Champions, struggled against second-tier AJ Auxerre, but the Uruguyan delivered on a silver platter the Coupe de France, the only domestic title missing from Paris’ cabinet since they were taken over by their big-spending Qatari owners in 2011.

At Wembley in London, Arsenal made history by winning the FA Cup for a record 12th time, retaining their trophy in majestic style as they demolished Aston Villa 4-0.

A swashbuckling display saw Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez, Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud put their name on the score sheet as the Gunners bagged their second trophy in 12 months with the biggest margin of victory in an FA Cup final since 1994.

In Berlin, Dortmund’s plans to send Jurgen Klopp off in style after seven years in charge were spoiled by Wolfsburg, who beat the 2013 Champions League finalists 3-1 in the DFB Pokal final thanks to goals from Luiz Gustavo, Kevin de Bruyne and Bas Dost.

The defeat means Dortmund must now go through the qualifying rounds for the UEFA Europa League having missed the chance to claim a direct entry had they won the final.

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