Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Why Messi wasn't at Iniesta's departure announcement

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi Will Lionel Messi be celebrating after Barcelona's match with Deportivo La Coruna
Wallace Pearson | 01 May, 2018, 04:55

Philippe Coutinho and Lionel Messi had given Barca a two-goal cushion but goals from former Arsenal stirker Lucas Perez and Emre Colak gave the relegation stragglers hope of pulling off the miracle.

Barca finally saw off their stubborn hosts, though, as Messi pounced after a brilliant one-two with Luis Suarez before slotting in to complete his 30th La Liga treble.

Briefly, it looked like Deportivo would become the first team to beat Barca in the league this season.

Barca doubled their lead in style in the 38th minute when Suarez lofted an exquisite outside-of-the-boot pass in the path of the onrushing Messi to side-foot home on the volley.

Ernesto Valverde's side are bidding to go through the league season unbeaten and went into the game 12 points clear of Atletico Madrid, and a further four clear of Real Madrid.

Ask any Barcelona fan what their favorite goal is and more than likely Iniesta's dramatic stoppage-time strike that stunned Chelsea in the 2009 Champions League will be mentioned.

"I'm very happy, we feel so much joy after winning this league", the Argentine told Barcelona's television channel. "We basically haven't lost, just once in the King's Cup and then in the Champions League which was a disappointment given the circumstances. We had some tough moments and we overcame them without losing and that's incredible". That was his and Messi's club record 31st title with Barcelona, and the team just needs to win one of its last five matches to clinch the Spanish league title. "Roma was a hard moment, but it should not erase what we have achieved in the last week".

Andres Iniesta, who made a late cameo, will also depart Camp Nou with a ninth LaLiga crown, the Spain great announcing this week he will leave the club after a 22-year association.

Following Barcelona's win at Estadio Riazor, Barcelona players wore the shirt of players who contributed to this season's league success.

Barca did not include his name, or the names of the players that left the club during the winter transfer window, including Arda Turan (İstanbul Başakşehir) and Javier Mascherano (Hebei China Fortune), on their celebratory T-shirt.

"It has been a great season with the Copa del Rey and now La Liga".

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