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'Phenomenal' Barcelona get Riera endorsement

FC Barcelona captain Roger Riera heralded a "phenomenal performance" while Munir El Haddadi attributed the Spanish side's triumph to a collective effort.

'Phenomenal' Barcelona get Riera endorsement
'Phenomenal' Barcelona get Riera endorsement ©UEFA.com

A "phenomenal performance" was how FC Barcelona captain Roger Riera summarised his side's 3-0 UEFA Youth League final victory against SL Benfica in Nyon. 

The pendulum swung firmly in Barça's favour when Benfica forward Romário Baldé struck the crossbar from the spot after Rodrigo Tarín had opened the scoring nine minutes in. Munir El Haddadi then struck twice – his second and competition-best 11th of the campaign a sublime lob from the halfway line – to complete the formalities. "It was reward for the hard work we have put in," the forward explained, with Riera proclaiming: "We've written history."

Roger Riera, Barcelona captain
It was a difficult 90 minutes in what has been a tough tournament. It was a hard-fought win, but we deserved it due to all the hard work we have invested this year. We are so happy. Apart from drawing [1-1] against AC Milan at home, we have won all our other games in convincing style. They missed a penalty after we had taken the lead, and we took advantage. We knew we would only get a few chances against a strong team like Benfica, but it was a phenomenal performance.

Munir unlocked the door for us and scored the last goal. We have players with great individual quality, but if they played for themselves we wouldn't have made it this far. It has been great playing in this competition. What we have achieved will stay with us in the future even if we don't realise that now. This was my only chance to play in this competition and I've managed to win it. We've written history.

Munir El Haddadi, Barcelona forward 
It was a great performance. We worked well as a team and everyone was desperate to achieve this success. It is a reward for the work we have put in. It is a very special honour [to win the trophy] and we deserved it. I wanted to pass to my team-mate [for the third goal], but then I saw the goalkeeper off his line so I tried to lob him and it went in. We have great players in our team with great qualities and that helps us to win trophies. It was warm, but we were used to playing here after the semi-finals. Everyone is delighted. Time will tell [whether I have a great future].

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