Wednesday, May 27, 2009

To Be The Best...

Barcelona�s coach Josep Guardiola (L) celebrat...Image by AFP/Getty Images via Daylife

It was Wednesday, May 21, 2008 and I watched as Chelsea lost the Champions League final to Manchester United on penalties. The match then had everything; agony, ecstasy, anger, suspense, desperation and I ended up crushed as Chelsea were defeated. Fast forward to 2009 and we were close to a repeat finale, albeit for some questionable refereeing decisions we would have been there.

Tonight Manchester United were against Barcelona, billed as the Hollywood final with two teams playing the beautiful game as it should be played. United started strongly, pressed for the early goal but just as they did against Chelsea, Barcelona scored through Eto'o with their first attempt on target.

That took ten minutes and after that the match became one sided, Wayne Rooney had stated before Chelsea were eliminated, that he would make John Terry cry in the final but any emotion from Rooney tonight may have led to a different outcome. Instead Rooney disappeared, as did several other Manchester United players as Iniesta, the scorer of the decider at Stamford Bridge dictated the action.

Ronaldo who had started well for the opening ten minutes didn't have a good match, in the pre-match build up much had been made about the influence of Ronaldo and Messi. Messi having never scored against an English team, until now, not rated for his ability in the air, Messi jumped to meet Xavi's crossed and powered the ball into the back of the net! Barcelona's strikers, Eto'o, Henry and Messi, have now scored just short of a hundred goals between them this season, that's impressive in any league you participate.

In defeating Manchester United, Barcelona became the first Spanish club in football history to achieve the treble, adding the Champions League to the Spanish league and Copa del Rey. The European Champions are definitely the team to beat, with rumours that they're to add Ribery to their squad, next season they will be even stronger!

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