“We want to be a legendary team.” Lluís Cortés, the Barcelona coach, did not use clichés or false modesty before the final of the Copa de la Reina. The Barça team aspired to the triplet, an unprecedented achievement for Spanish football, only reserved for the greats of Europe, and the players did not shrink but Cortés’s motivation therapy worked: Barça defeated Levante 4-2.
Barcelona’s career has been practically immaculate: first he sang the alirón in the League with eight rounds remaining; then he won what has never been seen in Spanish football, the Champions League, against Chelsea in Gothenburg; and finally completed the exercise in the Cup. A historic triplet for a legendary team as Lluís Cortés wanted.
Two and a half seasons ago, when the coach jumped from the position of assistant to the bench, there were doubts about the position that corresponded to Barcelona. He had lost dominance in Spain while adding gallons in Europe. Thus, he reached the Champions League final in 2019 after four years without lifting the League. Cortés kept the style, but changed the mentality and physique of the players. Today Barcelona is an insatiable team that sweeps the League, reigns in the Champions League and is double champion in the Cup in 2021. And it is that they thrashed Logroño (3-0) in February in the edition postponed due to the pandemic of the campaign 2020 and in Butarque he defeated Levante.
The recent past said that Barcelona had beaten María Pry’s team in La Liga: 0-3 in Valencia and 7-1 in Johan Cruyff. Numbers that symbolized the blaugrana’s brilliant campaign because Levante seems ready to recover the glory of when everything was new in women’s football and it was a pioneer in Spain: it won two Leagues and six Cups between 2000 and 2007. This campaign , Levante sneaked back into the cheerleaders of Spain. He fights with Real Madrid for the place for the next edition of the Champions League in the League (White are second with one more point) and returned to a Cup final after 13 seasons. This time he did not let himself be beaten and fought to the end, but it was not enough. The reality is that few teams reach the powerful Barcelona.
In fact, Lluís Cortés’s girls only missed one title during the season and it was the Spanish Super Cup. In February, Barcelona lost in the semifinal to Atlético on penalties after drawing one. A blur in the 2020-2021 campaign, in which they only lost one game, against City in Manchester, in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinals (2-1), after thrashing the English team in the first leg by 3-0. Barcelona has played 41 games, has won 38, tied two and lost one, with 180 goals for and 16 against. Against Levante, in the final of the Queen’s Cup, Barça won, suffered and reacted. And as if that weren’t enough, he added a curiosity: strategy.
Lieke Martens’ right boot got an assists triplet for Guijarro, Putellas and Torrejón. First, he placed a corner kick in the heart of the area for the Balearic to mark. A lateral center ended with the captain’s goal and, with another play from the board, Torrejón made it 3-0. All upside down. All before half an hour. Barcelona fell asleep then.
Bad idea in front of this warrior Levante, who did not want another beating. Redondo and Banini put color to a finish that painted decaf. But the joy to the Valencia team did not last long, misguided during the first half on three clear scoring occasions. Putellas, the leader and the one who makes the difference, put the fourth, ended the Levante epic and certified Barça’s treble. Like Lyon (five), Wolfsburg (two), Frankfurt and Arsenal (one), the Barça team joins the scepter of the greats of Europe.