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  1. #1
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    Default World awaits mouth-watering Champions League final

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    All the ingredients are in place for a classic Champions League final at Wembley on Saturday when millions of fans around the world will settle down to dine on what should be a rare footballing feast.



    Image: An octopus named Iker predicts Manchester United's victory against Barcelona in their Champions League final soccer match, to be played on May 28
    Barcelona, champions of Spain, are seeking their second European crown in three years after their victory over Manchester United in 2009, and United, Premier League champions are in pursuit of their second in four having beaten Chelsea on penalties in 2008.



    The coruscating passing patterns Barcelona have weaved to reach their second final in three years have brought them accolades from far and wide and not even the most dyed-in-the-wool dissenters have raised much objection to their being described as the best club team there has ever been.



    United cannot claim to match those talents but the 2008 winners and Premier League champions have their own way of winning big matches.

    The all-action, raw power of Wayne Rooney, the natural finishing of Javier Hernandez, the midfield energy of Park Ji-sung, the vast experience of Ryan Giggs, the granite defending of Nemanja Vidic and the reliable goalkeeping of Edwin van der Sar, making his final appearance before retiring at the age of 40, combine to make a formidable unit.





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  2. #2
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    Default Barca's might vs Man Utd's grit: who will win?

    Champions League final is just hours away and all the attention of every football fan has turned to one of the biggest finals between arguably the two best teams in the world, Barcelona and Manchester United.
    So far, both sides have won their respective domestic crowns and can claim that they are among the greatest ever sides ever to have won Europes' elite competetion.
    The match will also showcase some of the greatest footballers in the world in Lionel Messi, David Villa, Xavi, Andres Inieista and Carles Puyol for Barcelona and Wayne Rooney, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Edwin Van der Sar for Manchester United.



    n the 2009 final, Manchester United showed up for all of 10 minutes before they fell apart and allowed Barcelona to take over and simply outplay them in every department of the game. The performance was surely one of the worst from the Red Devils under Sir Alex Ferguson in any cup final.
    The biggest question in everybody's mind is that whether Manchester United will learn from their mistakes. They have been in fine form in Europe this season and are unbeaten on the road so far. Barcelona too have been in sublime form having lost just a single match against Arsenal on the road to Wembley.
    Looking at the two sides there is no doubt that Barcelona are the favourites to lift the title and they will seek to seal their status as the finest team of their generation. A second triumph in three years -- and their third since 2006 -- will provide for irrefutable proof that Pep Guardiola's team deserve to be bracketed alongside the legendary teams like Real Madrid's 1950s vintage, Johan Cruyff's Ajax or the Dutch-influenced AC Milan of the 1990s.
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  3. #3
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    Default This could be the final of a decade: Ferguson

    Sir Alex Ferguson predicts Manchester United's match against Barcelona could be "the final of the decade".
    Speaking ahead of the Champions League final on Saturday, Ferguson spoke enthusiastically about the prospects of coming up against the side many say are the best in the world and he also talked highly of his counterpart, who has only been managing the Catalan side for three years, comparing him to legendary Dutch coaches such as Johan Cruyff.
    "It could be the best final of the decade," Sir Alex told reporters.



    "The attraction of two great teams with great history is obvious. It’s an appealing final in terms of what could happen in this game.
    "Anything could happen. There could be a lot of goals, a lot of excitement. Hopefully it turns out that way.
    "I don’t think anyone can question the attacking players that will be on view tomorrow.
    It would not necessarily be a case of fighting fire with fire, however.
    "As we always do, we recognise the qualities of our opponents," he explained. "It’s unwise not to focus on what the other team can do. We always do that and respect the opponent."
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  4. #4
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    Default Barcelona are champions of Europe

    Lionel Messi scored one goal and created another on Saturday to lead Barcelona to a 3-1 win over Manchester United and a third Champions League title in six years.
    Barcelona dominated possession at Wembley with trademark one-touch passing but needed the Argentina striker to conjure a 54th-minute solo strike from the edge of the area to take the lead for the second time.
    There seemed to be no space as Messi was tracked across the 18-meter (yard) line by fullback Patrice Evra, but the two-time world player of the year spotted a gap between the central defenders and hit a shot down the middle, beating goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar for pace.



    Messi followed his 53rd goal of a remarkable season with a feint and run that eventually led to David Villa receiving possession on the edge of the area, from where the Spain striker curled a shot into the top corner.
    With Pedro Rodriguez scoring Barcelona's opening goal midway through the first half from an imaginative through ball from stand-in captain Xavi Hernandez, the win was as comprehensive as its 2-0 victory over United in the final two years ago.
    United improved upon its performance back then in Rome and did equalize in the 34th through Wayne Rooney, but could do little to disrupt Europe's dominant footballing force.
    Commentators had said before the game that Barcelona, which had already won a third straight Spanish league title, would be ranked among football's truly great sides with victory over United.
    Now, only Liverpool, AC Milan and Barcelona's fierce rival Real Madrid have won more European Cups than the Catalan club's four.
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  5. #5
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    Default Barcelona were the better team: Vidic

    Nemanja Vidic has paid tribute to Barcelona after they won the Champions League final at Wembley, saying they were the better team on the night.
    Goals from Pedro, Lionel Messi and David Villa, after Wayne Rooney had equalised for Manchester United, were enough to give the Catalan side their fourth Champions League trophy.
    It was a dominant display from the Spanish champions and after the match the Serbian admitted that he had not faced a team like them before, before going on to say that they were worthy champions.



    "Yes [they are the best], I think if you look at our past, we never played teams like tonight. We have to give them credit, they played good football and deserved to win," he told Sky Sports after the game at Wembley.
    "I have to say they had more chances than we did and we have to give them a hand and say that they were better than us tonight."
    Barcelona's victory was a repeat result of the final two years ago in Rome where they triumphed 3-1 and Vidic was disappointed that after a bright start, United were unable to keep up their levels of performance for the rest of the match.
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    Default We want to keep winning sliverware: Messi

    Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has warned future opposition that this team has no desire to slow down and are aiming for further silverware.
    The Argentine was speaking after being named as the Man of the Match in the Champions League final that his side won 3-1 over Manchester United at Wembley, in large part due to his goal, which restored Barca's lead after Wayne Rooney had equalised.
    "This is a game to remember. What this team does is tremendous and we are still not conscious of what we are achieving. We want to keep winning things," he revealed to Europa Press.



    Messi turned his thoughts to the celebrations with the Barcelona players due to attend a Shakira concert tomorrow at the Olympic Stadium.
    "Now we'll see how we celebrate it. This is a team of winners, we all know that, and we have to think solely about the celebration on Sunday. Then we'll think about next season."
    Messi has now won three Champions League trophies with Barcelona, the latest being the second under the stewardship of coach Pep Guardiola.
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    Default Barca were the better team: Ferdinand

    Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was gallant in defeat after the Sir Alex Ferguson's side were beaten 3-1 by Barcelona in the Champions League final at Wembley.
    A first half strike from Pedro gave the Catalans the lead but Wayne Rooney’s strike put United level at half time.
    But there was nothing Ferdinand and his teammates could do as Barca moved up through the gears in the second half and added two goals from Lionel Messi and David Villa to seal their fourth Champions League title.



    “Give credit to them, they played well,” Ferdinand told ITV Sport after the final whistle.
    “We could’ve played better in parts, but on the day they were the better team so we can’t really argue.”
    Barcelona dominated possession throughout the match and created many more chances than United, restricting their opponents to a handful of chances on the counter attack.
    And Ferdinand admitted Pep Guardiola’s side could be the best side ever due to the chemistry and talent they have within their squad.
    “I think time will tell [if they’re the best ever],” he continued.
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    Default Messi evokes memories of Maradona at Wembley

    Barcelona's Lionel Messi brought back memories of outstanding performances by his Argentine compatriots Diego Maradona and Ricky Villa at Wembley with his match-winning display in the Champions League final on Saturday.

    Messi got his first goal on English soil to put Barca 2-1 up against Manchester United after 54 minutes and created the third for David Villa with an outrageous shimmy, move and pass with 21 minutes left as they won 3-1 to claim their fourth European Cup.



    The 23-year-old World Player of the Year was unplayable coming from deep positions to unsettle the United defence during a one-sided final in which he not only scored his 53rd goal of a remarkable season but also equalled Ruud van Nistelrooy's record of 12 Champions League goals in one campaign.
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  10. #10
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    Default Champions Barca arrive home for victory parade

    Barcelona's triumphant players touched down in the Catalan capital with the club's fourth European Cup on Sunday and jumped into the open top bus that will take them on a victory parade to their Nou Camp stadium.
    Saturday's 3-1 victory over Manchester United, a second Champions League triumph in three years and a fourth continental crown following successes in 1992 and 2006, capped a season in which they also claimed a third successive Spanish league title and reached the final of the King's Cup.
    They flew back from London in a plane decorated in the club colours with huge pictures of the players adorning the side and touched down at the city's El Prat airport at around 4 p.m. local time (1400 GMT).

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  11. #11
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    Default Messi probably the best I will ever see: Pep

    Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola says Lionel Messi is the best player he will ever see in his life.
    The Argentine inspired Barcelona to a great Champions League final win over Manchester United and also scored a brilliant goal in the Catalan giants 3-1 win at the Wembley.
    Guardiola, who will be staying back at the club for one more year, said that Messi made the difference between the two teams.

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  12. #12
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    Default Barca are the best in the world: Sir Alex

    Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson acknowledged that his side had been beaten by "the best team we've played," after Barcelona's 3-1 victory over the Red Devils in the Champions League final at Wembley.
    Ferguson admitted that his side had been second best throughout the game but praised his opponents rather than criticising his own players.



    "I think they're the best team we've played," he admitted.
    "They're at a tremendous peak in their cycle of their team and you get teams who elevate themselves to that status and I think Barcelona are that team.
    "[We were] well beaten, there's no other way to address the situation," he told reporters.
    "[We were] beaten by a fantastic team of course, but I expected us to do better and I think at the end of the day we'll just acknowledge that we were beaten by the better team.
    "We knew that before the game and planned the best we could - our training sessions were very good leading up to this game."
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    Very Nice Sharing......................

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