BARCELONA, May 23 (Reuters) - Spain’s sports press hailed Barcelona on Monday after the La Liga champions beat Sevilla to lift the King’s Cup for the 28th time and clinch a second successive domestic double.
Goals from Jordi Alba and Neymar in extra-time gave their team a 2-0 triumph in Madrid’s Vicente Calderon stadium on Sunday, eight days after they won La Liga for the sixth time in eight years.
Barcelona-based El Mundo Deportivo highlighted 10-man Barca’s impressive resilience after Javier Mascherano was sent off in the 36th minute,
They kept the score at 0-0 before Sevilla had Ever Banega dismissed in added time at the end of 90 minutes.
“Heroics!” the paper’s headline said. “A warrior Barca resist ....to win the 28th Cup title.”
The Blaugrana were made to work hard to clinch their seventh domestic double.
“Barca proved they know how to suffer,” AS newspaper wrote on their front page.
Barca have amassed 28 titles since winning the Spanish Supercup in the 2005-06 campaign. That includes four European Cups, seven La Liga titles, four King’s Cup trophies, three FIFA Club World Cups, three European Super Cups and six Spanish Supercups.
EL Mundo Deportivo editor Santi Nolla applauded Barca in his column on Monday.
“This Barca, that accumulates 28 titles in the 21st century, never gave up. “Luis Enrique and this team have achieved seven titles out of nine in two years, which indicates that they continue to be the reference and the best in the world.”
Not since the 1952-53 campaign when Barca clinched the league and the King’s Cup, had a Spanish team managed to defend the domestic double, with Athletic Bilbao being the only other club alongside Barca to do so in the 1930s.
Sport, another Barcelona-based daily, lauded Barca’s achievement.
“Heroes!” screamed its headline. “Barcelona achieves a historic double after an epic exhibition.”
Barcelona did miss out on a second consecutive treble-winning campaign after losing to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals but Alba insisted that Barca had had a great season.
“You cannot always win three titles. Two is very good and we are thrilled,” he said.
Spain’s biggest-selling paper Marca’s front page included a photograph of Barca captain Andres Iniesta lifting the King’s Cup with King Felipe VI behind him.
“King Iniesta!,” screamed the headline.
Editing by Ed Osmond