Messi Stars As Barca Win Third Straight Copa Del Rey

Alaves enjoyed a strong end to their league campaign winning three of their last four matches

Alaves enjoyed a strong end to their league campaign winning three of their last four matches

Argentine Lionel Messi and Brazilian Neymar, with one goal each against Alaves, were responsible for winning FC Barcelona's third straight Copa del Rey tourney 3-1.

Now it's time to enjoy some much-needed time off after three "intense" seasons, and let the club move on under fresh leadership.

The lead lasted last than three minutes before Theo Hernandez equalized with a free kick which Barca keeper Jasper Cillessen maybe could have done more to stop.

Luis Enrique took his final bow as Barcelona coach on Saturday night and declared the Lionel Messi magic show far from over.

"I feel satisfied about a job well done and I can't wait to rest, to be with my family and enjoy some well deserved holiday".

But Barcelona regained control with a couple of goals just before halftime.

Neymar scored Barca's second goal and Messi did well to set up Paco Alcacer to put Barca out of sight at 3 - 1.

Alaves nearly opened the scoring when Ibai Gomez struck the post after a blunder by Barcelona defender Gerard Pique just before Messi's goal.

Barca were searching for one piece of silverware to end a disappointing campaign after surrendering the Liga title to Real Madrid and exiting the Champions League in the quarter-finals to Juventus and were without prolific striker Luis Suarez and defender Sergi Roberto through suspension.

Alaves boss Mauricio Pellegrino was equally in awe of the five-time World Player of the Year.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu was happy for Luis Enrique to sign off with the Copa del Rey.

The following year he collected the domestic double, but this season his side have won just the Spanish Super Cup and finished runners-up in the league to Real Madrid.

Messi had first spoken with team-mate and compatriot Javier Mascherano, checking up on his compatriot's health after a nasty clash of heads forced him out of the game early on.

Messi became the first player to score in four Copa finals since Athletic Bilbao's Telmo Zarra in 1950 with his opener from outside the penalty area. Alaves needed to win the Copa del Rey title to qualify.

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