Almost exactly an hour after the final whistle, Barcelona posted a tweet: “Congratulations to @realmadrid for winning the 2017-18 Champions League title.”
Underneath some fans demanded the message be deleted immediately while others claimed it as a classy touch. “We are rivals, not enemies”, one wrote. Barcelona’s key players – Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta – stayed quiet.
Some had recently posted pictures of themselves surrounded by their families, with the Soccer World Cup just around the corner.
But from the words that have been spoken since, and despite the club’s stately message, it is clear Madrid’s triumph hit home. Barcelona had failed and this made it even harder to bear.
“Obviously it’s infuriating (for us),” Suarez said in an interview with RAC1 earlier this month. “Madrid have won the Champions League in each of the last three years.
‘‘They have made history and it’s a thorn in our side.”
Chiefly, perhaps, because Barca will feel they were better than Madrid last season.