Mesut Ozil may have spent a good many years of his footballing career to date loathing Barcelona, but it would appear the resentment only runs so far.
According to German newspaper Bild Arsenal’s assist king was well and truly in the party mood after the Catalan giants won the Champions League in Berlin on Saturday night, as he and international teammate Julian Draxler partied with the likes of Neymar, Dani Alves and Gerard Pique until 7am Sunday morning.
Just how Ozil - an ex-Real Madrid star - managed to swindle himself into the after-party of the year remains to be seen, but Bild makes no secret of the fact that champagne was flowing in rivers as the newly-crowned champions of Europe celebrated a magnificent treble that must have even took them by surprise given how their season started.
With the initial introduction of Luis Enrique ruffling more than just a few feathers at the Nou Camp, and new sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta’s appointment preluding an expected period of transition, hopes were not high for Barcelona to make it through the year without combusting in spectacular fashion.
A string of average results prior to the turn of the year, accompanied by rumours that Lionel Messi was set to be the subject of a world-record breaking bid from one of Europe’s other super powers, must have had Enrique fearing for a job he had only just really accepted. Oh how sweet the champagne will have tasted Saturday.
Not only did the Catalans pip eternal rivals Real Madrid to La Liga after a closely-run contest, but they also fended off the Copa del Rey final challenge of Athletic Bilbao with consummate ease - thanks largely to a Lionel Messi masterclass.
All that was left then was for them to take the scalp of the champions of Italy, after beating the champions of Holland, England, France and Germany at various stages of Europe’s premier competition, for their near-perfect season campaign to be complete.
Goals from Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez and Neymar provided the icing on the cake, and if there was ever a reason to party until past day-break of the next morning that was it.
It’s needless to say Ozil’s silverware tally of one FA Cup pales in comparison, but we’re surprised he was even invited having been part of the Germany team that decimated Neymar’s Brazil 7-1 in the World Cup semi-finals last summer.
Football fans, what’s your favourite memory from a post-cup/league success party? Let us know your stories in the comments box below.
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