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Messi, Neymar win Copa del Rey final for Barcelona

29 May 2017

The Argentine global played a starring role for the Blaugrana in yesterday evening's Copa del Rey success over Alaves at the Vicente Calderon as he opened the scoring with his 54th goal of the season and also claimed an assist for Paco Alcacer's strike.

It turned out to be the final goal in an official match at the Vicente Calderon, the final goal for Barca in 2016-17 and also the final goal with Luis Enrique as Blaugrana boss - a fitting finale for the stadium, the season and the coach.

Alaves, coached by a former Barca team-mate of Luis Enrique's in Mauricio Pellegrino, spent the season's first half hovering above relegation places but ended the campaign strongly, winning three of their final four games to finish ninth in the table.

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

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As adidas' main man, Lionel Messi had the privilege of lacing up the German company's latest in football boot slash spaceships when Barcelona took on Alaves in the Copa del Rey final.

"He is out of the ordinary", he told reporters.

"As a youngster I experienced Dortmund, I have a lot of memories of that day and I want the fans to go there with their shirts, flags and scarves and be proud of Alaves".

"We finished the season how we wanted to finish it", Luis Enrique said.

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"We're a hard team to face, we have a very competitive squad and a group of players who are very persistent", Pellegrino told Spanish daily Marca. "I've had the opportunity to enjoy Messi at his best, performing at the highest level".

Barcelona is expected to announce this week that its new coach will be Ernesto Valverde, who left Athletic Bilbao a few days ago.

It will also be his final chance of landing a major trophy for the Catalan giants, who this season surrendered the La Liga title to arch-rivals Real Madrid and were knocked out in the Champions League quarter-finals by Juventus.

After enduring the disappointment of losing La Liga despite finishing as top scorer, Messi was the inspiration for Barca once again with a mesmeric individual display to wrap the season. Defender Javier Mascherano had to be substituted less than 10 minutes into the game with a head cut after colliding with an Alaves defender.

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Neymar was also seen berating the officials after Messi was fouled on the edge of the box and the referee played advantage as a feisty opening period threatening to boil over.

Messi, Neymar win Copa del Rey final for Barcelona