Barcelona on Sunday clinched a La Liga and Copa del Rey double for the second successive season on what turned out to be yet another landmark night for Lionel Messi.
The Argentina international was in inspired form against Sevilla at the Vicente Calderon, setting up goals for Jordi Alba and Neymar in extra time as Barca ended their domestic campaign with a record 28th King’s Cup triumph.
Those assists – his 25th and 26th of the season – helped settle an ill-tempered encounter in the Spanish capital which saw Javier Mascherano, Ever Banega and Daniel Carrico sent off.
The result provided the final gloss on Barca’s recovery following a mid-season meltdown which saw them dumped out of the Champions League and surrender their nine-point lead at the top of the Primera Division.
It turned out to be an extra sweet night for Messi who capped another record-breaking season by claiming his fourth Copa del Rey winners’ medal – the 30th honour in his trophy-laden career.
It is a campaign that will no doubt live long in the memory for Messi who, having won an unprecedented fifth Ballon d’Or in January, cemented his place in La Liga history when he broke the 300-goal mark with a double against Sporting Gijon in February.
Later that month, he scored Barcelona’s 10,000th goal in official competitions with his side’s second in their Champions League last-16 victory over Arsenal.
Hopes of replicating Barca’s treble-winning 2014/15 campaign, however, were dashed by defeat in the Champions League quarter-finals by Atletico Madrid.