Barcelona faced Boca Juniors in a friendly match in order to honor the late god of football, Diego Maradona. The Catalans faced the Argentine side as the legend had played for both of these clubs and the occasion was called the Maradona Cup. The footballing world lost one of its biggest legends last year and it was an emotional match to remember the past, cherish the present and look forward to the future. Although the occasion was purely for sentimental and celebratory reasons, Barca fans will still feel a bit annoyed that they could not manage to secure the win against Juniors.
Both the team played their hearts out in the second half and pushed the game all the way to a penalty shootout where the South American club managed to best the former kings of Europe. Xavi played a mostly rotated team and let youngsters such as Riqui Puig, Yusuf Demir, and Alejandro Balde get some time in the spotlight. The first half was quiet and uneventful but the second half was quite fiery with Dani Alves making a stellar performance on his second debut. Youngster, Ferran Jutlgà Blanc, was the one who put Barca on the scoresheet with a brilliant shot after a fantastic receive.
It seemed like the Catalans were headed towards victory for the first time in four matches however in the 75th minute, Exequiel Zeballos, broke Barca’s defense and their hearts as they failed to keep a clean sheet yet again. The penalty shootout was a mess for Barca while Boca Juniors managed to score all of theirs. This was a tough match and although it was a friendly, played by the youngsters and the B team players, Xavi Hernandez will feel a bit disappointed that his team couldn’t see out the 1-0 lead. Barcelona will next face Elche in La Liga and that will be a must-win game for them, if they want to secure a UEFA Champions League spot for next season.
Which youngster impressed you the most in the match against Boca?