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Barcelona eyes history in UEFA final

Courtesy L. F. Salas

Courtesy L. F. Salas

By Sonny Sachdeva, June 4 2015 —

June 6 will mark the final chapter of a historic season for Spanish powerhouse F.C. Barcelona. After finishing atop La Liga and besting Athletic Bilbao to win the Copa del Rey, Barça now moves on to face Juventus in the UEFA Champions League final.

Barça enters as the clear favourite, boasting one of the most prolific offences in history. The club’s elite trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez racked up a record 120 combined goals this season, topping the previous record of 118 set by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid back in 2012.

A victory on June 6 would do more than cap off a perfect 2014–15 campaign. In the last decade, no club has won the Champions League title more than Barcelona, who did so in 2006, 2009 and 2011. Should they add a fourth title this year, it would mark the best ten-year stretch of any Champions League club in over 30 years. It would also be the third-best run in history, after Liverpool’s four-title stretch between 1977 and 1984 and Real Madrid’s five consecutive wins in the first five years of the tournament (1955–1960).

While history is on the line for the team as a whole, Barcelona’s leading man also has his own records at stake. No player has ever scored goals in three separate Champions League finals. Messi is one of three players to have scored in two, as he scored in Barça’s 2009 and 2011 wins. After leading La Liga with 43 goals this season and recently tying for the Champions League’s all-time scoring lead with his 77th marker, Messi has an excellent chance at setting the three-finals mark.

He could also become the first player to ever score a hat-trick (three goals in one game) in the Champions League final. No one has been able to do it yet, but considering Messi boasts the most hat-tricks in the tournament’s history — he’s scored three goals or more in a single game on five different occasions — he could very well set the mark against Juventus, further elevating his already impressive legacy.

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