Luis Suárez’s chart-topping season, by the numbers

Luis Suárez played a key part in the club's success with his 59 strikes / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The Uruguayan hit 59 goals in all competitions; 42 of those were with his right foot while 13 were the game’s opening goal

With league and cup double wrapped up and celebrated, it is now time to look back at a key figure’s contribution to the said trophies.

Luis Suárez has played the season of his life, scoring 59 goals in all competitions which helped him earn both the European Golden Shoe and the Spanish league’s top scorer prize otherwise known as the Pichichi. Here is a closer look at the most fascinating figures of the Uruguayan over the last nine months:

  • Of his 40 strikes in the league, 30 were scored with his favoured right-foot, while the remaining ten were equally split between his left-boot and his head.


  • As well as being the league’s top marksman, he was also the player to score the most goals at home (23) and away (17).


  • Sporting Gijón keeper Iván Cuéllar was the striker’s favourite victim, with five goals in two games past the 31-year-old.

  • Athletic Club, Sporting and Valencia are the three clubs against which Suárez has scored five times against over the last campaign, while Eibar and Deportivo have conceded four against him.


  • His excellent relationship with strike partners Leo Messi and Neymar Jr is well-documented, and the fact that the aforementioned duo have each provided ten assists to the Uruguayan says a lot about their relationship. Dani Alves has laid on six while, from the other flank, Jordi Alba has set up five.

Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar Jr celebrate / MIGUEL RUIZ – FCB


  • While others tire, Suárez remains sharp and alive. The 29-year-old has scored 41 of his 59 in the second half.


  • He’s not bad early on either. On 13 occasions, Barça’s no.9 has given his side the lead – eight times at the Camp Nou, four times away and once on neutral territory in the Club World Cup.


  • He has terrorised opposition defence, scoring six braces, a whopping five hat-tricks as well as even scoring four goals on two occasions. Some of those that stood out were his three strikes against Guangzhou, and his double at the Santiago Bernabeu against Real Madrid.

Luis Suárez celebrates his second at the Santiago Bernabéu / MIGUEL RUIZ – FCB


  • When Barça needed that last push to cross the finishing line after a tough spell, Suárez turned up. In the month of April, he was on the scoresheet a sensational eleven times, included back-to-back four-goal hauls against Sporting and Depor.

Jordi Alba, scorer of few but crucial goals

Jordi Alba celebrates Copa del Rey final at Vicente Calderón / VICTOR SALGADO - FCB
The flying full-back becomes hero in Copa del Rey final, and not for the first time

Football often throws up some unexpected storylines, and one of those came about in last Sunday’s Copa del Rey final between FC Barcelona and Sevilla.

Rather than one of the front three grabbing that crucial breakthrough in the tensest of finals, it was full-back Jordi Alba who got in behind the opposition defence to tuck away a goal in extra-time to send Barça on their way to the double.

With the game tied at 0-0 and with Barça down to ten men from early on after Javier Mascherano’s straight red, the Catalans had their speedy left-back to thank for a crucial strike.

But it was not the first time that Alba has come up trumps in the attacking end. It was the 27-year-old who also played a big assist to Suarez against Granada which set Barça on their way to a 3-0 win on the final day of the league season which sealed the Liga title.

Important goals

He rarely scores but, when he does, they tend to be decisive. Six out of his eight Barça goals have resulted in important wins, as listed below:

Season

Competition

Opponent

Venue

Result

Jordi Alba makes it

2012/13

Champions League

Celtic

Camp Nou

2-1

2-1

2012/13

Liga

Deportivo

Riazor

4-5

0-1

2012/13

Liga

Celta

Camp Nou

3-1

3-1

2012/13

Copa del Rey

Real Madrid

Camp Nou

1-3

1-3

2012/13

Champions League

Milan

Camp Nou

4-0

4-0 (completes turnaround)

2014/15

Copa del Rey

Elche

Camp Nou

5-0

4-0

2014/15

Liga

Almeria

Juegos Mediterráneos

 

1-2

2015/16

Copa del Rey

Sevilla

Vicente Calderón

2-1

1-0

Click to enlarge image

Click to enlarge image

22 assists

As well as popping up with the odd goal, Alba has made no less than 22 assists across 21 games, and 20 of those ended in victory.

Leo Messi featured in newest issue of Sports Illustrated

Lionel Messi raises his arms in celebration following FC Barcelona's 2–0 victory in the Copa del Rey final on Sunday in Madrid. / VICTOR SALGADO - FCB
In ‘The World of Messi’, the prestigious American magazine, Sports Illustrated, gets up-close and personal with the FC Barcelona superstar

“I have always had the same way of playing, wanting to go for goal no matter what and if I can continue, I do.” Those are the words of Leo Messi and they are a perfect definition of what he has done and continues to do at FC Barcelona. Just one thing on his mind, irrespective of who he is up against, his innate brilliance nearly always allows him to achieve his goal. The Argentine superstar is the focus of a feature which delves into his more personal side in the prestigious American magazine ‘Sports Illustrated’.

On his beginnings, Messi says he came to FC Barcelona “with great excitement and the goal of reaching the First Division and to do that I trained dedicatedly every day, focusing completely on my goal.” However, it was not always an easy path to take.

“It was nice because I came to play at Barça, but on the other hand it was difficult because I was leaving everything behind, my friends, part of my family, my childhood…, coming to a new country and starting from zero.”

Fortunately, all turned out well for the boy from Rosario: “I grew up in Barcelona, I came of age and I have my life here. Barcelona has given me everything.”

The most honoured player in Barça history with 28 trophies, the same number as his team mate Andrés Iniesta, Messi also boasts an unprecedented five Ballon d’Or awards. “I always say that individual prizes are not that important to me, it’s always an inexplicable moment and it’s really nice because of what it means,” he added.

The Barça number 10 also touches on his love for his home country whom he will be representing in June in the Copa América. “It would be significant to win it,” he reveals. “We have not won it for a while and this group of players came close last year in the Copa América final and in the final of the World Cup two years ago. It would be an important trophy to win.”

With a special Centenary edition of the competition to be played in the United States, Messi is very much looking forward to performing in what is for him a “unique country.”

“I have always gone there to play and never for a vacation but what I have seen looks incredible,” he said. For the Argentine international this summer will see a “special Copa América that will take place in the USA, the best place for it with its impressive stadiums and, I imagine, lots of fans supporting each of the teams.”

The four cups won in the 2015/16 season are now on display at the Museum

The La Liga trophy (left), and the Copa del Rey reach their new home in the Club Museum. / FCB
A new trophy case exclusively dedicated to the 2015/16 season holds the silverware from La Liga, the Copa del Rey, the FIFA Club World Cup, and the UEFA Super Cup

The FC Barcelona Museum just keeps filling up.

On Wednesday morning, the team’s four trophies achieved in the recently completed 2015/16 season arrived at their brand new abode.

After 10 months of play across six competitions, the final two pieces of this season’s trophy haul — the La Liga cup and the Copa del Rey trophy — were duly set down alongside the other two trophies Barça won this season: the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.

To house all that shiny hardware, a new display case was created, dedicated solely to the achievements of the 2015/16 season. The case also houses a team shirt and the game ball from the Club World Cup final in Tokyo, signed by the players. These items are joined by a pair of screens giving visitors a look at the greatest moments of this highly successful season.

Behind the scenes: FC Barcelona’s double-winning celebrations

Festa de celebració del doblet 2015/2016 al Camp Nou
A look inside the party that took place at Camp Nou after the team ended the campaign with a host of trophies

After winning a league and cup double in the space of just eight days, the FC Barcelona squad celebrated their success with the fans at Camp Nou on Monday in jubilant fashion.

The club’s cameras captured footage of the big day from behind the scenes, of which Dani Alves played a starring role as did the children of the players.

How do FC Barcelona’s 28 cup titles compare with the rest of Europe?

Jordi Alba with the Copa del Rey aloft / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
No European team from outside of the British Isles has won their domestic cup more times, and clubs from the ‘big five’ leagues are trailing well behind

Europe’s cup kings

Linfield (N Ireland) 42
Celtic (Scotland) 36
Rangers (Scotland) 33
FC Barcelona (Spain) 28
Austria Vienna (Austria) 27
Olympiacos (Greece) 27
Levski Sofia (Bulgaria) 25
Benfica (Portugal) 25
Shamrock R (Ireland) 24
Athletic Bilbao (Spain) 23
Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) 23
Wrexham (Wales) 23

[[DES_1]]After the 2-0 win over Sevilla at the Vicente Calderón on Sunday, FC Barcelona have lifted the domestic cup for the 28th time in their proud history. The title consolidates their position as the club with the most wins in the Spanish cup, with five more than Athletic Bilbao, with 23 wins but none since 1984, and nine more than Real Madrid, who have taken the cup crown 19 times.

Copa that!

That kind of dominance is extraordinarily rare in Europe. The club with the most domestic cup titles to its name is Linfield of Northern Ireland with 42, while Glasgow’s big two of Celtic and Rangers have 36 and 33 wins to their respective names. Of course, those three had quite a head start on Barça, with their competitions dating back into the 19th century.

Outside of the British Isles, no other club in Europe has won their domestic cup as many times as the 28 that Barça have accumulated between 1912 and 2016. Austria Vienna and Olympiacos come closest with 27 apiece. However, although Benfica are officially accredited as having won the Taça de Portugal 25 times, they do match Barça’s 28 if their three victories in the pre-1939 Campeonato de Portugal are also included.

Top of the Big Five

Focusing on the traditional ‘big five’ of Europe, outside of Spain, the only club that comes remotely close to Barça is Bayern Munich of Germany, who have won the DFB-Pokal eighteen times. The FA Cup might be the world’s oldest football competition, dating all the way back to 1871, but no team has ever won it on more than twelve occasions, Manchester United having equalled Arsenal’s record with their defeat of Crystal Palace on Saturday.

In Italy, Juventus recently beat AC Milan to claim a national record eleventh cup title, while Paris Saint Germain and Olympique Marseille lead the way in France, but ten wins each is a very far cry indeed from Barça’s twenty-eight.

So many wins in the Spanish Cup, one of the toughest club knockout competitions in the world, is a truly staggering achievement. And one that is made all the more impressive when we look around Europe and see how few clubs have managed to replicate such dominance in their own domestic cups.

The goals of the week from players on Barça’s youth teams

The Under-18 team won their league title this week. / VICTOR SALGADO-FCB
Once again it’s time to take a look at the top 5 scoring plays authored by the boys and girls of La Masia

As we like to do in the middle of each week, it’s time to present to you our top five goals scored by FC Barcelona youth academy players over the past weekend, as voted on by the Barça TV programme, ‘Promeses’, which has pored over untold numbers of highlight reels in order to come up with the best of the best. The Under-18 team’s Guillem Jaume pulled of the rare feat of having two goals crack the top 5. Here’s the list, check out the video:

5. Roger Casadevall — Under 7

4. Guillem Jaime — Under 18

3. Monchu Rodríguez — Under 18

2. Nadir Luah — Under 13

1. Guillem Jaime — Under 18

Way to go!

FC Barcelona Lassa v Naturhouse la Rioja: Happy ending (36-32)

Barça Lassa cap off the home campaign with a win/ VICTOR SALGADO - FCB
The handball side says farewell to the home season with a narrow and hard-fought win

FC Barcelona Lassa closed the home campaign with a narrow 36-32 victory over Naturhouse la Rioja on Wednesday night at the Palau Blaugrana.

While the hosts were more assertive of the two, each time they went ahead, the visitors would respond with a striker of their own.  Sigurdsson looked sharp  with three goals in six minutes, as did Eduardo Gurbindo who scored five in the opening 30, but Naturhouse kept fighting back.

That was until minute 38, when Wael Jallouz put the Catalans 25-20 ahead to give the team some deserved breathing space. After the interval, Naturhouse were unable to keep up with Barça’s rhythm and began to slip behind. Saric, Tomas and Jallouz kept firing, and eventually led the team to a 36-32 win, the team’s 90th consecutive win in the league.

Match details

Barça Lassa: Saric, Víctor Tomás (3), Sorhaindo (1), Sarmiento (1), Gurbindo (4), Sigurdsson (4), Jicha –starting seven- Gonzalo, Entrerríos (3), Ariño (1), Syprzak (3), Viran Morros, Jallouz (12), Lazarov (4).

Naturhouse: Gurutz Aguinagalde, Alberto Val, Víctor Vigo (4), Carlos Molina (2), Pedro Rodríguez (6), Ángel Fernández (4), Imanol Garciandia (2) –starting seven- Kappelin, Sánchez-Migallón (4), Luis Felipe Jiménez (4), Garabaya, Javier Garcia (4), Eduardo Cadarso (2).

Score by interval: 2-2 / 5-5 / 8-8 / 14-13 / 18-16 / 21-19 / 27-20 / 28-23 / 32-27 / 34-28 / 36-32.

Attendance: 1,039

Andrés Iniesta: I’ve enjoyed this season a lot

Andrés Iniesta during the interview / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The club captain feels it has been a campaign to remember after winning the European Super Cup, Club World Cup, La Liga and the Copa del Rey

A special year

Iniesta took over as club captain after Xavi Hernandez’s departure last summer, something which he is very proud of: “I try to represent my teammates in the most honest and natural way. I’ve passed through all age groups at Barça and therefore wearing the captain’s armband is very special and significant”.

FC Barcelona captain Andrés Iniesta wasted little time after the team’s double-winning celebrations in giving his assessment of the campaign.

The 32-year-old sat down with Barça TV where he analysed a long and demanding season which ultimately ended with several trophies.

Top marks

“The season has been magnificent,” said the mesmeric midfielder, before adding that thanks to success in competitions like the European Super Cup and the Club World Cup makes the year “more than positive”.

Hungry for success

“It takes a lot to keep winning, and each time it becomes harder, not only the treble but any title. But this Club has had this mindset for years and therefore we are in a great cycle.”

“It is not normal what we are doing, but we have our goal which is to maintain this great moment we are living. To have the players we have puts you closer to your objective.”

Loving life

“I have really enjoyed this season as a player,” said the skipper. “The feelings have been very positive and the spirit within the team has helped.”

Fans’ support at Copa final

“I give our people and our fans a ten (out of ten). They were sensational from the first minute and they gave us a push when we really needed it.”