When Barcelona beat Juventus 3-1 in Berlin on 6 June, the Catalan club capped off a season that will go down in footballing history as completely unique. Not only had they won the treble for the second time in seven seasons, but they did so having supposedly been in crisis as little as five months previously, with manager Luis Enrique reportedly on the verge of being sacked.
Enrique has not received the same credit that Pep Guardiola, Barcelona's only previous treble-winning manager, was afforded six years ago - possibly because some fans feel that the former has built on a team that had already been made great by the current Bayern Munich boss.
However, work on the two-time treble-winning squad actually started years before both Enrique and Guardiola were drawn into management. Barcelona is a club that is structurally almost perfect and leaves its managers free to receive all the plaudits for a system that stretches far beyond their contribution.
Started from the bottom
The key to Barcelona's success lies in their youth development achievements. Five of the starting players in their Berlin triumph were graduates of the club's famous La Masia academy. When they beat Manchester United 2-0 in Rome to claim the 2009 Champions League, they began the match with seven.
Renowned for their intricate passing and emphasis on possession, this generation of Barcelona players appear to share a sense of telepathy that cannot be found at any other top club. Although Bayern Munich thumped them in 2013 and Chelsea have proved a persistent thorn in their side, nobody has truly been able to stop Barcelona from playing - and winning - football matches their way.
Takes one to know one
This is a style that Enrique, like Guardiola and the late 2013 league-winning Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova, knew all too well when he took charge of the club. The trio had all worked at Barca before doing so - Enrique and Guardiola as players and B team coaches and Vilanova as the latter's assistant first team coach.
Despite their relative managerial inexperience, Enrique, Guardiola and Vilanova's success has dwarfed the achievements of the two most successful club managers in the game, José Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti, at fierce rivals Real Madrid.
The latter was recently replaced by Rafael Benitez, who will be hoping to use his knowledge of his own club gained from playing for and coaching their reserves to counteract that of Enrique at Barcelona.
However, when a club pulls in the right direction from youth level up, as Barca have done for decades, any manager who has a degree of familiarity with them is destined to start every campaign with an immeasurable advantage.
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