Spain: police arrest 5 Barca ultras before Copa final


Only victory in Saturday's Copa del Rey final against Alaves will salvage some pride from Barcelona's season and give coach Luis Enrique a successful send-off, whilst the Basques dream of lifting the trophy for a first time.

Barcelona have endured an underwhelming campaign by their own lofty standards as they relinquished the La Liga title to bitter rivals Real Madrid, falling short by just three points in the end, while also bowing out of the Champions League at the Last 8 stage to eventual finalists Juventus.

Only Pep Guardiola (14) and Johan Cruyff (11) have won more titles as Barca manager than Luis Enrique, who stood by his decision to walk away this summer.

"Nine trophies in a club like Barca, who have had a glorious decade, means that the players have been at their very best and I was able to enjoy it".

Of course, it helped that they played in one of the best worldwide sides we've ever seen - and also versions of a Barcelona side that had the absolute best of the best in it.

Pique has been tipped to one day become president of the Nou Camp club. Fortunately for the Catalans, the Copa del Rey final is their last match of the season, so they won't have to worry about an immediate replacement should Mascherano's injury prove serious.

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A shocking 2-1 victory at Camp Nou on September 10 was Alaves' first win since its return to the first division following 10 years in the second and third tiers. The side coached by Manuel Pellegrino has been one of the revelations of the season in Spain finishing ninth in the table after winning promotion from the second division last season. "There is no doubt that he is the best player in the world".

Messi opened the scoring then helped tee up Neymar and Paco Alcacer to lead Barca to a record 29th Cup triumph after Theo Hernandez's brilliant free kick had briefly brought Alaves level. This is probably Luis Enrique's favorite trophy as he won it each time in the previous three years.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said: "Luis Enrique has done a very good job and we are very grateful".

Barcelona certainly owe their enormous success in recent years to the managerial nous of Luis Enrique.

And he dedicated his latest success to those he says suffered most through his stress over the past three years - his family.

"I don't know what I'll be doing, really".