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13.05.2009 23:49

Explosion of joy at Mestalla

Jordi Clos

As soon as the game ended, the Barša squad started celebrating the Copa del Rey victory on the pitch. But always ensuring they showed the utmost respect for the exemplary Athletic Club supporters.

In contrast to the ugly scenes of 25 years earlier, the end of this year’s cup final was an authentic fiesta on the pitch. The Barša players celebrated the first title of the season in unison with the sector of the pitch allocated for the Barša fans. Athletic Club, devastated by the loss, were given a huge ovation by their vociferous supporters, who considerably outnumbered the Barša fans at Mestalla.

00.06: Puyol holds the cup aloft

The longest awaited moment of the night came six minutes past midnight. Carles Puyol collected the cup from the hands of King Juan Carlos I. After raising the cup in the air, the Barša captain passed the trophy on to his colleagues.

Fiesta on the pitch

_M3_9568.JPGImmediately after, the players gathered for the traditional team photo and then set off on a champion’s lap of honour, with confetti floating in the air and the Barša anthem being played over the sound system along with an old favourite for occasions like these, We are the Champions by Queen, as well as ‘Copa, Lliga i Champions’, a song that has become popular throughout Catalonia thanks to the Crack˛via comedy show on TV.

King Guardiola

_M3_9763.JPGThe players had a special T-shirt prepared for the night, heralding the ‘25 King of Cups’, and in pure celebratory mood, toyed with their manager Pep Guardiola in the centre of the park. The manager then went over to hug his relatives, who were here for the game at Mestalla and was given a standing ovation as he left the stadium to attend to the press.

‘Fair play’

_M3_9691.JPGNeither the Catalan nor Basque supporters left their seats as the celebrations got under way. There was a touching moment when the Barša players made their way over to the red and white section of the terraces and applauded the Lions’ supporters for the way they had contributed in such excellent fashion to a memorable final, and even in the face of defeat, never once stopped supporting their team.
Explosion of joy at Mestalla

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