Barca Win Record 29th Copa Del Rey As Luis Enrique Ends Tenure

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Lionel Messi was inspired as Barcelona beat Alaves to secure the Copa del Rey for the third year running and give coach Luis Enrique a winning send-off.

Enrique is leaving after three years in charge at the Nou Camp.

Messi opened the scoring before setting up strike partners, Neymar and Paco Alcacer to propel Barca to a record 29th Copa triumph after Theo Hernandez had briefly levelled the tie with a brilliant free-kick.

Victory means Enrique won a massive nine trophies in three years, including the Copa del Rey in every season as Barca move into a new era.

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.

The five-time World Player of the Year opened the scoring in the 30th minute as he exchanged passes with Neymar.

But Barca’s lead lasted only three minutes as Hernandez bent in a sumptuous free-kick from 25 yards out to stun the Catalans.

However, Messi took control of the game as he played in substitute Andre Gomes whose low cross was tapped home by Neymar at the back post for his third consecutive Cup final goal.

Barca then ended the game as a contest in first-half stoppage time when Messi again pulled the Alaves defence apart and freed Alcacer with a reverse pass to smash the ball beyond Pacheco into the far corner.

Alaves battled on in the second period, but Barca easily saw out the tie to finish the season on a high.

•Sport writer/blogger • Media strategist •Good citizen of Nigeria and Social Media Evangelist and a core die hard Real Madrid fan.

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