Spain bemoans Barcelona loss, Messi miss

Updated: 25 April 2012 19:00 IST

Spain's press bemoaned Barcelona's defeat to Chelsea, blaming superstar Lionel Messi's crucial penalty miss for shattering their dreams of another Champions League trophy.

Spain bemoans Barcelona loss, Messi miss

Barcelona:

Spain's press bemoaned Barcelona's defeat to Chelsea, blaming superstar Lionel Messi's crucial penalty miss for shattering their dreams of another Champions League trophy.

But the Madrid-based sporting press could not help gloating a little, as the Catalans' arch rivals Real Madrid remain in the tournament.

"How unfair football is! Come on Barca!" blared the headline of Barcelona-based daily Sport the morning after Chelsea snatched a 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou to win 3-2 on aggregate and go through to the final in Munich.

"Barca smashed into bad luck on the saddest day for Messi, who crashed a penalty against the bar," said the front page of Sport alongside a full-page photo of Messi with his shirt covering his head.

The Catalans fell "with their heads held high," however, it said.

The top regional paper, La Vanguardia, splashed a photo of Messi bent over with his head in his hands.

"Goodbye to the European dream" it lamented.

Spain's biggest-selling sports daily, the Madrid-based Marca, ran huge photos of Messi and Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo on its front page.

"Don't you fail!" the paper said in a message to Ronaldo, widely referred to as just CR7, as Real prepare to host Bayern trying to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg of their semi-final tie.

"The Bernabeu trusts its leader, CR7, to get to the final after Barcelona's incredible elimination," Marca said.

The paper said Ronaldo had within his reach the Ballon d'Or prize for footballer of the year and it quoted Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho saying: "We deserve to be in Munich (for the Champions League final)."

Chelsea's victory was "cruel revenge", it said.

"Barca crashed into the anti-football of Chelsea, who played 54 minutes with 10 men," the paper said.

Rival Madrid sports daily AS gave its front page to a photo of Messi with his shirt covering his face. "Messi punctures the dream final," the headline read.

Spain's leading daily El Pais ran a story on the "curse of Messi" noting that he had never scored a goal against Chelsea.

"The dream of a Munich final was shattered for Messi at the north end of the Camp Nou," El Pais said.

"After 47 shots on goal, Barca scored twice. Chelsea, with three goals from seven shots, are through to the final. As we know, that's football."

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