As president Joan Laporta backed Lionel Messi to sign a new contract with Barcelona, he praised the special achievement of captaining the club to another trophy. After Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong had given Barcelona a two-goal advantage, the 33-year-old scored twice in Saturday’s 4-0 Copa del Rey final victory over Athletic Bilbao.
With that double, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner equalled Telmo Zarra’s record of nine goals in ten appearances in the final of the competition. Meanwhile, he now has 56 goals in the competition, trailing only Guillermo Gorostiza (64), Jose Samitier (69), and Zarra (70). (81). Messi’s future is also up in the air, with his deal set to expire at the end of the season, possibly making this the Catalan giants’ seventh Copa victory.
Barcelona had to wait until the hour mark to find a way past Athletic goalkeeper Unai Simon, but Messi is pleased that his team’s patient strategy paid off. “It’s satisfying to be able to change a description. This community is having a fantastic day “Messi stated his opinion. “Being the captain of this club is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Lifting this cup is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me.
“Athletic was known to play in this manner, with a strong 4-4-2 formation. We were patient with the ball and made space for it. We made a lot of progress in the first half, and I believe they slowed down in the second.