On Saturday May 28th the two most famous and recognizable football clubs in the world will play some very important footy in London, England. Manchester United of England, and Barcelona of Spain will play in the Champions League final. The Champions League is the most prestigious club football tournament in the world, and these are the last two teams standing. This much-anticipated match is on the same level as the Superbowl and is expected to bring in a worldwide audience of over 200 million viewers. Football fans have been waiting since September for this huge match and it won’t disappoint. Let’s breakdown the squad’s to see who has the upper hand.
Manchester United finished 1st in the English Premier League on Sunday and as a result won their 19th EPL title. Manchester United are led by Sir Alex Ferguson who is in his 24th season as manager. Goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Saar is playing his last game as a footballer. The forty-year old will hang up his boots after the match. Van Der Saar could be a weak link if his forty-year old frame can’t keep up with Barcelona’s quick attacking style. On the backend Manchester United will start centre backs Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. Frenchman Patrice Evra should play left back with BrazilianFabio Da Silva suiting up at right back. Barcelona will want to exploit the flanks of Manchester United if they want to exploit a weak spot in United’s defense. In midfield Manchester United should start Michael Carrick, Ji-Sung Park, Antonio Valencia and thirty-seven year old Ryan Giggs. The midfield is going to have to play one heck of a game to shut down Barcelona and their possession controlled style of play. Wayne Rooney, and Javier Hernandez will be the starting strikers for Manchester United. Both strikers have the ability to score world-class goals and make defenders look silly. Rooney and Hernandez will be facing a Barcelona defense that is very stingy when it comes to allowing goals. If they can’t get anything going Manchester United will be sunk. An advantage Manchester United should have is a loud a vocal pro United crowd. Champions League finals are always played at a pre-selected venues. This year Wembley Stadium in London was named as host venue.
Barcelona is coming off their third consecutive La Liga title, and is widely regarded as the best all a round club team in the world. Manager Pep Guardiola is the same age as Manchester United’s keeper, and he is in charge of all the ridiculous talent at Barcelona. Barcelona is led by Lionel Messi who is known as the greatest footballer since Pele. Messi scored 31 goals for his club this season and Manchester United will be hard pressed to keep him in check for 90 minutes. In the 2009 Champions League final between these two teams Messi was instrumental in Barcelona’s 2-0 win. Messi will be partnered up front with fellow striker David Villa. In the midfield where Barcelona should dominate Manchester United Xavi, Andreas Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, and Pedro Rodriguez should draw in. Manchester United will need to take control of the game and not get lulled into Barcelona’s spectacular ball control, and nifty passes. On the backend Pique, and Puyol will start at centre back. Dani Alves will make runs up the right side and Eric Abidal will start at left back. If there is a weakness with Barcelona it’s their corner defenders. Manchester United will have Rooney and Hernandez attacking Alves and Abidal to try and create goals. If United is able to get a great shot on net twenty-nine year old Victor Valdes will be in net to stop any attempts on goal.
The is going to be a football match that will live up to the hype. If you’re not a football fan, and you only watch when the World Cup is on you should watch this match. It will be football at it’s finest. Barcelona has too much fire power, weapons, and the best player in the world. Manchester United simply cannot matchup on the same level as Barcelona. Enjoy the game wherever your tuning in. The match kicks off at 11:45 pacific, and 7:45 local time in London. Prediction Barcelona 3-1