Ads 468x60px

Friday, May 27, 2011

Manchester United vs Barcelona 28 May 2011 UEFA Champions League Final

The Final UEFA Champions League 2011, will bring together the best team in England Manchester United and Spain, Barcelona lock horns that will compete on May 28, 2011. Both sides have won their domestic title, and without a point for Europe's premier club competition this season already looks like there will be someone other than the two teams fought out for the crown.

UEFA Champions League Final 2011
Saturday, 28 May 2011 19:00
Wembley Stadium,London - United Kingdom
Barcelona vs Manchester United

MANCHESTER UNITED: United come into the tie as champions of England for a record 19th time, a feat that allowed them to knock bitter rival Liverpool FC off their perch. The English giants have lifted the European Cup three times during their prestigious history, the last two under the guidance of current manager Sir Alex Ferguson. It was 43 years ago, at old Wembley Stadium, when manager Sir Matt Busby led the Reds, with past greats Bobby Charlton and George Best, to their first taste of European triumph over Benfica and the great Eusebio. If Fergie is able to lead his side to victory on Saturday night at new Wembley, with current greats Ryan Giggs and Scholes, he will then join Liverpool's Bob Paisley as the only other manager to lift the European Cup thrice.

The Reds come into the match with a relatively clean bill of health. John O'Shea has been struggling with a slight leg injury but he is expected to be available. Owen Hargreaves continues to be out with long-term injuries. Because United locked up the league title weeks ago, Fergie has been able to provide some key players much needed rest after the rigorous run-in. Injury isn't an issue for the Gaffer, but rather choosing the right combination of in-form players from a deep squad.

BARCELONA: The side from Catalonia enter the final as champions of Spain for the third consecutive season. Much praise and adulation has come the way of this current edition of Barcelona as their uniquely brilliant brand of football has brought a collection of winner's medals in recent seasons. Just as United did in 1968, the Catalan club lifted their first European Cup at old Wembley in 1992; and they also share the feat of being crowned champions of Europe on three occasions. FC Barcelona have become a symbol of Catalan culture and this is embodied by the club motto: Mes que un club (translation: More than a club).

Barcelona have been relatively fortunate to avoid significant injury through their championship campaign. Like their English counterpart, the Spanish side earned their league title weeks prior to this final, thus manager Pep Guardiola has been able to rest key squad members. Perhaps this is a bigger benefit to Barca because they don't quite have the quality depth of United. Thus, squad rotation occurred less frequently and Barcelona appeared to fatigue during their run-in. The good news for them is that skipper Carlos Puyol appears to be fully fit and ready for the tie after struggling through much of the latter half of the season with injury. Eric Abidal has made an inspired return to his side after missing just under 2 months with a tumor on his liver (which has been safely removed). Defenders Maxwell and Adriano have also made recent returns from injury as well.