Barcelona lifted their first trophy of the season after beating Juventus 3-0 at the Johan Cruyff Stadium. Barca have won the Joan Gamper Trophy, an annual pre-season friendly match is named after one of Barça’s founding members, for a 44th time. Memphis Depay, Martin Braithwaite and Rique Puig all scored to help their team to clinch the victory.
Barcelona’s summer signing Depay from Lyon before it was doubled in the 57th minute when a corner from Memphis was headed by Braithwaite. In second-half stoppage time Puig scored the winner. Barca were missing Sergio Aguero, who sustained a right calf injury, while Eric Garcia and teenager Pedri were absent as they have been competing with Spain at the Olympics.
Fans had hoped for a showdown between the Argentinian forward and Juve’s Cristiano Ronaldo, but Messi’s departure due to team’s financial limitations prevented that from happening. Just hours before the match, Barca held Messi’s last press conference as the Argentine talisman bid farewell after 21 years with the club. Messi is reportedly set to sign a two-year contract with French soccer powerhouse PSG.
“It’s not one of the best days,” Barcelona defender Gerard Pique admitted after the game. “You know that you have to go through this day but the team was affected. Especially those of us who have spent more years sharing a dressing room with [Messi]. At the level of talent and magic, it is not the same when the best in history goes away.”
Screams of Messi’s name across the stands of Johan Cruyff Stadium, where around 2,600 fans attended, could be heard almost throughout the game, especially in the 10th minute, as a tribute to the club’s most famous No. 10 and all-time leading scorer. Fans also screamed Messi’s name whenever Ronaldo, Messi’s all-time rival, touched the ball.
Barcelona’s women’s team, the current Champions League holders, scored five first-half goals and went on to beat Juve 6-0 and lift their first Gamper trophy.
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