It was billed as potentially the biggest match of the decade, one that was going to hurdle past the benchmark that is the 2005 Champions League final between Liverpool and AC Milan. But in spite of all the talk, Barca ran away the winners, quite easily I must say, as the impervious and imperious Lionel Messi guided his team to a 3-1 win over the 19-time premier league champions.
But where did Manchester United go wrong? Here are my top seven reasons why the Catalans won their fourth Champions League trophy at the expense of the Red-faced Devils.
1. There was only one ball
Me thinks that Manchester United should lodge a formal complaint to UEFA and or FIFA to protest against the indespicable, malicious, unjust and barbaric act that was providing only one ball to be played on the field. I mean Barca clearly looked like they wanted to have the ball by themselves. Why didn’t the officials throw another ball to Rooney or even Ryan Giggs and leave the selfish Barca to kick around the other one for as long as they wanted!!
2. Which Da Silva
Why did Sir Alex choose Rafael instead of Fabio. I mean Fabio instead of Rafael… I mean… ah! Whatever! Alex just chose the wrong Da Silva for the game.
3. United lacked their Star Man
No it’s not Dimitar Berbatov or Rooney and definitely not Chicharito. Actually, who the hell is Viktor Kassai!! Sir Alex Fergusson must have exclaimed when he learnt that the 35-year-old Hungarian official was going to handle the Champions league final and not his darling and yes, star man Howard Webb. “Holy shit!” he must have screamed when the fourth official Istvan Vad indicated that only three, three?! Minutes was to be added at the end of the regulation time. A lesson learnt the hard way. Say something about Viktor Alex.
4. The Holy Trinity
Barca’s win against United was no doubt a team effort. Victor Valdez dealt with the little that came his way, Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano were impregnable in central defence and so was Eric Abidal at right back and the overlapping Daniel Alves at left back. However, as it has been time and again, it was the triumvirate of Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi who made the big difference as the Catalans triumphed to their fourth Champions league trophy.
Xavi acted as the conveyor belt literally collecting the ball from defence, passing it with Iniesta and co through the middle and providing the services to Messi and the other killers in David Villa and Pedro. It was total football made from Barcelona Cantera. And someone expected to beat such a coordinated team. It’s no longer about finding a formula to keep Messi quite. A more complex formulae of shutting the supply chains of Xavi and Iniesta needs to be figured out if this team is to be beaten. And that should be done even if it means exhuming the body of Archimedes of Syracuse, he the father of mathematics.
5. Lionel Messi
Man of the match, equaling Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s record of 12 goals in a single Champions League season, Champions league top scorer for the third season running, scoring the second goal and setting the third that certainly killed United. All of these in the same night! Who can stop this man? Sir Alex thought Antonio Valencia could. And the boss must have given the Ecuadorian winger the advice to foul the pint-sized Argentine as many times as he willed. But Messi is not called the Atomic Flea for nothing. He flee from the tackles and made Van der Sar nod at his decision to retire, lest he meet the mesmerizing Messi in future.
6. It was written
It was always going to be difficult to beat Barcelona this season. On their way to the final, they dismissed some of the best teams in the world. They humiliated Arsenal in the round of 16, had an easy match against Shakhtar Donetsk and dismissed perennial rivals Real Madrid at the semi-final with aplomb. Compare this to Manchester United whose only strong opponent was the inconsistent Chelsea at the quarter-finals level. A win against Marseille in the semis was always going to be easy.
7. Rooney could not prevail where Ronaldo failed
Cristiano Ronaldo is a class player than Wayne Rooney. That’s for a fact. But not even the Portuguese is at par with Lionel Messi. Any doubters were proved wrong during the recently crazy four-match El Classico marathon between Barcelona and Real Madrid. As widely expected, Messi’s Barcelona prevailed over CR7’s Madrid. So tagging the premier European club competition as a Rooney versus Messi one was like belittling the little Argentine. He’s simply without equal.
And That's thesteifmastertake!!