On Wednesday night, Barcelona rallied. Few gave them a chance of making the Copa del Rey final, with Sevilla widely expected to progress instead.
But the Catalan giants produced a remarkable comeback and may have now set the stage for Lionel Messi’s last hurrah, amid reports he’s looking for a house in France ahead of a move to PSG.
Barcelona were comprehensively beaten by Sevilla in the first leg of their Copa del Rey tie, with Jules Kounde and Ivan Rakitic on target.
But the Catalan giants produced a remarkable turnaround on Wednesday night to make the final of the competition.
It was a dramatic night at the Nou Camp, with Ousmane Dembele getting the ball rolling in the 12th minute – finding the net for the second game on the trot.
Sevilla nearly equalised through Lucas Ocampos, who saw a penalty saved by Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.
But Barcelona forced extra time through Gerard Pique, with the Spain international expertly heading home Antoine Griezmann’s delivery.
And Martin Braithwaite struck late on to send Barcelona through to the final, where either Levente or Athletic Bilbao will lie in wait.
It was a sensational night for Barcelona, who dug Messi out of a hole on a night where the Argentina international found himself stifled.
And they may have now set the stage for the 33-year-old’s grand farewell.
Before the match, reports in Spain suggested Messi had started planning for life away from Catalonia – with a move to Ligue 1 giants PSG eyed.
Manchester City are keen on the veteran, with Pep Guardiola dreaming of a sensational reunion at the Etihad Stadium.
But it’s PSG who now seem frontrunners in the race to secure Messi’s signature.
It’s been claimed Messi is house-hunting in Paris ahead of a move to the Parc des Princes, with former Marca chief Eduardo Inda saying: “Messi is probing the real estate market, and it is not exactly that of Barcelona.
“He is probing, looking at flats and houses in Paris.
“The PSG players live in three different areas of Paris. Two of them are in exclusive areas within the city and the other option is for him to go to live where Neymar resides from the beginning, which is 15 kilometers from Paris.”
And this suggests the Copa del Rey final will be Messi’s last with the club.
The Barcelona star won’t be winning the Champions League this year, with their 4-1 defeat to PSG effectively ending their chances of making the next round of the competition.
So it could be left to Spain’s domestic cup competition to provide Messi with a last hurrah.
He’s won it six times across his career and a seventh, especially with this Barcelona side being borderline average, would be one of his finest achievements.