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Paper reaction: 'A super hero called Pedro'

The Spanish papers were full of praise for Barcelona's match winner after an unforgettable UEFA Super Cup, with Sevilla's courage having ensured "a truly historic spectacle".

Pedro Rodríguez kisses the trophy; was the winner his last goal for Barcelona?
Pedro Rodríguez kisses the trophy; was the winner his last goal for Barcelona? ©Getty Images

In Catalonia, Sport hailed the "Super Champions" and thanked Pedro Rodríguez for scoring Barcelona's extra-time winner, with many speculating it could be his last goal for the club, a move to Manchester United seemingly in the offing. "Pedro became the hero in what could have been his last game in a Barcelona shirt," it writes. "Maintaining his habit of scoring in finals, the forward allowed Barcelona to start this season as they ended the last one – with a European trophy."

Marca's front page headline is "A super hero called Pedro" but the sports daily felt Sevilla more than deserved a share of the credit after scrapping back from 4-1 down to take the contest beyond 90 minutes. "In this sport we often use the word 'epic' lightly, but there are times when there is nothing else to do but doff your cap and applaud the protagonists of a truly historic spectacle, as was the case here," it says. "Sevilla and Barcelona produced a stunning match filled with excitement and goals, one of those games we will still be talking about in many years to come."

Rival title ASis similarly aglow, congratulating both teams involved in the "Super Final" for "honouring football and producing the greatest possible advert for this marvellous sport". Seville-based Estadio Deportivo, meanwhile, lauds an "epic" second-half response from Unai Emery's side – "an exhibition of football, pride, class and courage" which meant the Andalusians "bowed out with their heads held high".

Real Madrid coach Rafael Benítez
Real Madrid coach Rafael Benítez©AFP

Elsewhere in Europe, a few eyebrows were raised: the Guardian noted that the manner in which Barcelona "surrendered the three-goal advantage" will have "alarm bells ringing in the head of their manager, Luis Enrique". The BBCadded that the Blaugrana's lapse will provide "Liga rivals Real Madrid with much optimism as Rafael Benítez prepares for his first season in charge at the Bernabéu".

Spiegelhad similar thoughts: "For an hour, Barcelona showed good form, but then displayed major weaknesses in defence." Kickersummed up the nine-goal thriller as "craziness", while Bildreassured local supporters that Germany's sole representative in Tbilisi had not let his team down. "Marc-André ter Stegen between the Barça posts is powerless for all four goals conceded," it maintains.

While Barcelona's defensive frailties were a concern in most of Europe, French daily L'Équipe preferred to focus on Sevilla boss Emery's astute changes. "The introduction of Yevhen Konoplyanka in the 68th minute gave an attacking option that Sevilla had lacked ... Mariano and Ciro Immobile's introductions in the 80th minute had a dramatic impact: within a minute, Immobile stole the ball from Marc Bartra and sent Konoplyanka through for the equaliser. But for Pedro, he would have been the hero of the night."

"Super show in the Super Cup," writes Gazzetta dello Sport. "Barcelona tamed Sevilla thanks to Lionel Messi's magic and a last gift from Pedro." Meanwhile, Corriere dello Sport defined Barcelona as "crazy" for allowing Sevilla to recover from 4-1 down.

Sports newspaper Leloreflected: "Time will pass and we will tell our children that in August 2015 the UEFA Super Cup was held in our country. Messi was here, Suárez was here, Iniesta was here, Barca and Sevilla were here and we saw a true spectacle of football. It did happen in Tbilisi."

Yevhen Konoplyanka scores his first Sevilla goal
Yevhen Konoplyanka scores his first Sevilla goal©Getty Images

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