Barcelona enjoyed a historic 2014/15 season as they won a treble of the league title, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey, to become the only club ever to have won the treble twice – they first did it under Pep Guardiola in 2009. The start of the 2015/16 season brought more silverware as the Catalan outfit registered a 5-4 win over fellow Spanish club Sevilla to collect the European Super Cup. By the end of December, the club had amassed five trophies, having won the Club World Cup after defeating River Plate 3-0 in the final in Japan.
The club started the year in disarray and with the fear of imploding as Luis Enrique’s decision to bench Lionel Messi from the first game of the year against Real Sociedad appeared to have riled the Argentine and led to a training ground confrontation with the Asturian manager.
However, things soon smoothened out as the team went on a winning spree and sure enough, trophies followed. The year ended with another record in the bag as the Barcelona attack, led by the fearsome forward trio of Neymar, Luis Suarez and Messi ended the calendar year with a haul of 180 goals, thereby eclipsing the previous record held by Real Madrid’s attack – led by Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema – in 2014 when they had amassed 178 goals.
Messi, Suarez and Neymar scored the bulk of the 180 strikes. While the Argentine added 48 goals, the Uruguayan matched him with 48 of his own, whereas the Brazilian contributed 41 strikes, meaning that the first choice forward trio alone contributed 128 of the 180 goals – staggering 71 per cent of all the goals scored by the club during the course of the year.
During the record-breaking game, Messi achieved another personal milestone as he notched his 500th appearance for the reigning Spanish and European champions.
The Barcelona faithful will hope that the New Year continues to see their forward trio scoring at will as they set out to defend the five trophies they won last year.