Messi, Neymar bid to end season on a high

Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L) and teammate Brazilian forward Neymar da Silva Santos Junior speak during the Spanish Copa del Rey (King’s Cup) ANDER GILLENEA / AFP

• Copa del Rey Final Against Alaves

Barcelona trained with added focus yesterday as they bid to end a disappointing season on a high with victory in the Copa del Rey.The Catalan giants take on Alaves in the final today at Atletico Madrid’s Vicente Calderon, where they will be looking to add to the Super Cup they won at the start of the campaign.

Anything but a win in Madrid will mean the season will be seen as a major disappointment, though, after they surrendered their La Liga crown to bitter rivals Barcelona and were knocked out of the Champions League by Juventus at the quarter-final stage.

In what will be Luis Enrique’s final competitive game in charge before departing in the summer, the former midfielder will be looking to secure a ninth trophy for the club, while also looking to win the cup for the third year in a row.

Lionel Messi and Neymar led the players out for training with a focus in their eyes, with the squad put through their paces under the watchful eye of Enrique.The Spanish boss insists he is leaving at the right time, for both himself and the club, with Athletic Bilbao boss Ernesto Valverde set to be announced as his successor next week.

‘I’m happy and more than satisfied for all the years that I’ve enjoyed with this club,’ the 47-year-old Luis Enrique said.’I came here to be a leader and I’ve been one. I’m leaving when I think it’s the best time to do it.’



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