Barca lived up to ‘world’s best’ tag in Clasico-Suarez
Luis Suarez said Barcelona had honoured the club’s reputation as insatiable trophy collectors after scoring twice in a 3-0 win at rivals Real Madrid on Wednesday to reach the Copa del Rey final for an astonishing sixth straight season.
Barca have won the last four editions of the competition but coach Ernesto Valverde has heavily rotated his squad this season in the Cup and the team had to overturn first leg defeats to Levante and Sevilla to reach the last four.
After a shy performance in the first half at the Santiago Bernabeu in which Madrid missed a slew of goalscoring opportunities, Barca were ruthlessly clinical, leaving enemy territory with a 4-1 aggregate win.
“You have to live up to the reputation of this club, which is the best in the world, and overall we did that tonight,” Suarez said.
“This is another demonstration of how good this team is. People keep saying that we don’t care about the Cup, but we have shown that we always want to win every single trophy.
“We knew that coming to the Bernabeu would be difficult but we were aware we had a great opportunity to play in another final.”
Valverde admitted his side could have fallen behind on numerous occasions but welcomed the efficient nature of the victory after his side had drawn a blank in a Champions League game at Olympique Lyonnais.
“It was not a resounding display from us, we have to recognise that, but we scored three times without creating many chances. Sometimes it’s the other way round,” he said.
“Sometimes football is a little random. In Lyon, we had 25 shots and we couldn’t score with any of them and people said we were in crisis.”
Defender Jordi Alba said he believed Barca were worthy winners, though, and underlined the importance of their triumph.
“We were the better team against magnificent opponents, which is very difficult to do in their stadium, and we won by a big margin. We had to suffer to win, but overall we played well,” he said.
“We really appreciate the Copa del Rey — and Real Madrid wanted to win it too. A lot of their fans arrived early to create a huge atmosphere, so we will not accept the excuse that this is a minor trophy.”