BARCELONA, May 15 (Reuters) - Barcelona have had their ups and downs this season and centre back Gerard Pique believes it is partly the team’s durability in times of adversity that has helped propel them to the brink of a treble of titles.
Barca were four points adrift of Real Madrid in La Liga at the turn of the year and a defeat at Real Sociedad in early January, when coach Luis Enrique left Lionel Messi on the bench in the first half, set tongues wagging about a possible rift between the pair.
The club also had to deal with a series of off-field issues, including charges of tax fraud in the signing of Neymar and a FIFA ban from the transfer market for breaking rules on signing foreign youth players.
Barca’s troubles have now largely been forgotten with Luis Enrique’s side through to the final of both the Champions League and the King’s Cup, where they will play Juventus and Athletic Bilbao respectively.
They are four points clear of Real at the top of La Liga with two games left and can make sure of a fifth title in seven years with a win at Atletico Madrid on Sunday.
“You have to go through tough times and this team is bombproof,” Pique told a post-training news conference on Friday.
“To have the chance to win the treble at this point in the season doesn’t happen often,” added the Spain international, who has had an excellent season after failing to impress in 2013-14.
”We are fighting for the treble, but taking into account what is being said, I get the feeling that we have already won the treble.
“There is not much to go, but it is the most difficult part and we have to stay united.”
If Barca slip up at the Calderon on Sunday, they have another chance to clinch the title at home to Deportivo La Coruna on May 23.
The Cup final is at the Nou Camp a week later, before they travel to Berlin to play Juve on June 6, when they will be chasing a fifth continental crown. (Writing by Iain Rogers in Madrid, editing by Toby Davis)