Andrea Barzagli paid tribute to Barcelona after the Champions League final tonight, his heroic performance against Messi, Neymar and Suarez not enough to deny the Blaugrana.
"We knew of the quality of Barcelona. We gave everything we had – they deserve all the plaudits, but we leave with our heads held high. Losing a final is always hard to take, but tonight we congratulate the winners.
"They have incredible quality. Three of the best five players in the world are theirs and Messi is a phenomenon. We didn’t get off to the best start, but we grew into the game. We’d set ourselves the objective of staying in the match for the whole game – we did well to dig in and we had them scared for ten minutes," continued Barzagli.
The big defender concluded with a word on the future: "We’re still growing and we need to keep challenging ourselves to compete at the top and to go as far as possible in the Champions League. That’s how you get back to the final."