The game was over, the players were exhausted from their efforts and they went to celebrate all the same, jumping around as if they had won a title. It was at the reward for an epic effort, all through the Copa del Rey this season.
After they celebrated they headed towards the tunnel, where coach Ronald Koeman was waiting for them, as satisfied as he could be.
The players each gave Koeman a hug on the way in, including the captains. First, it was Gerard Pique and then it was Lionel Messi, and he congratulated them both on getting through. It’s not been an easy road.
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