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Road to the Super Cup: Barcelona

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

On Tuesday, August 11th, UEFA Champions League winners Barcelona will face off against UEFA Europa League winners Sevilla to play the UEFA Super Cup, which decides which is the best European club from last season. Barça's road to Tbilisi was ultimately victorious, but was definitely not easy.

A new team under a new coach, Luis Enrique, was drawn in Group F with Paris Saint-Germain, Ajax and APOEL. And it was against the Cyprus side that the Blaugrana made an unimpressive debut, winning 1-0 with a header from Gerard Piqué against a far weaker opponent. The first true test was a great game, but plenty of defensive mistakes saw Barça lose 3-2 to PSG at the French capital. Back home at the Camp Nou, the Catalan giants recovered with a 3-1 dominant victory over the Dutch champions.

The very next UCL game was once again against Ajax, this time with the full 'MSN' trio on the pitch. The 2-0 victory away from home started a very good run for Barça, who finished the campaign with two very dominant wins over APOEL and PSG and topped the group with 15 points.

Already in 2015, the knockout rounds saw a beast of a team that had found its rythm and how to put all the pieces together. Messi, Suárez and Neymar had great understanding, and things looked much better. The Round of 16 saw a tough Manchester City, but a 2-1 win at Etihad was enough to establish a good advantage, which was extended in the return leg when Ivan Rakitic scored the lone goal that ended the tie.

In the quarterfinals, the draw put together Barça and PSG once again, and it was a utter domination from Luis Suárez and Neymar. Both got a brace, one in each game, and the Uruguayan completely destroyed David Luiz in Paris, with a couple of sick nutmegs on his way to two beautiful goals, and the Blaugrana booked a place in the semis.

And then, the biggest test: Bayern Munich, who had trounced the Catalans two years ago, was once again drawn as a semifinal opponent, and this time the Bavarians had Blaugrana legend Pep Guardiola on the bench. The tie was anticipated for weeks, and boy did it live up to the hype. On the first leg, the Camp Nou was totally filled, and Luis Enrique got the better of the coaching duel with a masterpiece: his team completely neutralized the opposition, and then Lionel Messi happened. The best player in the world scored twice and assisted Neymar to give Barça a 3-0 lead that nearly finished the tie. In the return leg, the Blaugrana got a 2-1 lead in the first half that guaranteed their place in the final. Despite losing 3-2, Culés were too happy to be bothered with the result.

A little over two months ago, Berlin hosted the Champions League Final between Juventus and Barcelona, and the Blaugranes got an unprecedented second Treble by seeing off the Italian powerhouse with the most common result of the season, 3-1.

Now, they look to lift their fourth trophy of the calendar year, and the fifth Super Cup in club history against the Rojiblancos.

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