Barça have won the Champions League! And they have done so in emphatic fashion, beating Sporting 4-0 in Sunday’s final in Riga with e goals coming from Lozano, Ferrao, Pito and Dídac.
There was some concern before the game that they might be affected by tiredness following the exertions of their astonishing comeback against Benfica in the semi-final. Not a chance! Aided by Sporting having to go without the influential Pany Varela, suspended for this game, the Catalans got everything right in this game, sitting back and defending when they needed to and then powering in on the Portuguese goal with some clinically direct tactics.
That said, Sporting probably looked the better team before captain Sergio Lozano’s 16th minute opener, the 300th of his career. With the opposition dumbfounded, Pito issued further punishment as he pounced on a Zicky error to fire in goal number two.
A year ago Barça lost the Champions League Final to this very same opponent, where they had also been leading 2-0 at the break and seemed to have the wind in their sails. But they ended up losing their concentration and also the game 4-3. It was important to make sure that didn’t happen again.
Barça had clearly learned from their errors last season, and took a thoroughly professional attitude to the second half. Not until Carlos Ortiz teed up Ferrao and latter converted acrobatically to make it 3-0 could they afford to relax a little.
Sporting had no choice but to opt for a rush goalie, but Barça not only stood their ground at the back but also rubbed salt into the Sporting wound when Dídac Plana popped into an empty net with just two minutes left on the clock.
4-0 and the Champions League trophy is coming back to Barcelona!
It’s the fourth time Barça have been crowned continental champions, all in the last decade, and the second title in three years. Having already won in Lleida (v Dynamo Moscow in 2012), Baku (v Dynamo Moscow in 2014) and Barcelona (v ElPozo in 2020) the Latvian capital of Riga now also has a special place in Barça’s futsal hearts.
They are now just one win away from matching Movistar Inter’s record haul of five Champions League trophies.
Another great season
Sergio Lozano is the only player who has been part of all four of Barça’s champion teams, although it was also a fourth title for Carlos Ortiz, who already had three with Movistar Inter. Only Pito and André Coelho were winners for the very first time.
That’s now three major trophies collected by the team this season, following on from the Spanish Super Cup won against Palma Futsal, and the Spanish Cup against ElPozo. And they could still add the Spanish Liga title to the collection…
Barça: Dídac Plana, André Coelho, Dyego, Adolfo, Ferrao, Povill, Matheus Rodrigues, Sergio Lozano, Pito, Marcenio, Ortiz, Nico Marrón, Miquel Feixas (gk), Alex Lluch.
Sporting: Guitta, Tomás Paço, Joao Matos, Cavinato, Alex Merlim, Zicky, Cardinal, Erick, Pauleta, Waltinho, Miguel Angelo, Esteban, Bernardo Paço (gk).
Goals: 1-0, Lozano (min 16). 2-0, Pito (min 19). 3-0, Ferrao (min 21). 4-0, Dídac (min 39).
Referees: Nikola Jelic, Vedran Babic. Yellow for Dyego & Povill (Barça) and Miguel Angelo, Waltinho, Erick, Tomás Paço & Cardinal (Sporting).