Still more than the three goals scored and the three points gained, FC Barcelona's players valued the hunger and attitude which they displayed during their Matchday 1 victory against Olympique Lyonnais.
Perhaps with stern criticism ringing in their ears after last weekend's 0-0 Primera División stalemate against CA Osasuna, Frank Rijkaard's men answered their coach's demand for not only a winning start to the UEFA Champions League but a stylish performance with a comprehensive 3-0 win against the French champions at Camp Nou last night.
'We came out hungry'
FIFA World Cup winner Gianluca Zambrotta argued: "I think this was the day we rediscovered the crucial winning mentality. We came out hungry and showed a desire to win well throughout the match. I think that this kind of victory can be a massive forward step, not only in terms of our European ambitions but given that we must play Sevilla [FC in the league] on Saturday."
While Zambrotta appreciated the team ethic he was one of many enthralled by the outstanding display from Lionel Messi. The Argentinian scored one goal, set up another one and tormented his opponents from start to finish. "Lyon opted to leave my World Cup colleague Fabio Grosso on the bench, perhaps because he is a very offensive full-back, but I think they did it because they knew he would have Leo Messi to cope with," he said. "Messi is so outstanding that he can alter the opposition coach's tactical mentality."
The night was also memorable for 17-year-old Bojan Krkić with his European debut late in the second half while Xavi Hernández also equalled his club's all time appearance record in international competition - he is now tied with Barça legend Migueli on 85. "It is a beautiful number to help celebrate an important win," smiled the 27-year-old Spanish international midfielder. "I still feel young. I feel important within this squad and the fans continue to show me great affection. Against Lyon we came out hungry and that was the platform for a really good performance. Now our challenge is to keep this level of performance up for as long as possible." Xavi has 83 games in UEFA club competition plus two at last December's FIFA Club World Cup.
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