Reasons to be excited about Barcelona vs Man United

26 05 2009

I’m very very very excited about tomorrow’s Barcelona vs Man Utd UEFA Champions League Final. And rightly so. There, I said it. I know bloggers are often meant to have one eyebrow raised in snarkiness when faced with a big (and very corporate) event. But that feels impossible in this case.

This is – on paper at least – the best final matchup in a long long time. So anyone who greets this game with cynicism or snarkiness is either 1) incapable of happiness, 2) not a proper football fan or 3) a very bitter joint Liverpool-Real Madrid fan who’s going to be disappointed either way.

So, here are 10 reasons to be excited about Barcelona vs Man Utd in Rome.  On second thoughts….why 10…..i’ll give u 11

1. England vs Spain (or Catalonia). Either way it’s two teams from two different leageus. Which is more than we can say for last year’s final.

2. Two champions. Both these teams have recently won their respective leagues. Can’t argue with that.

3. And the two best teams in Europe this season. Would anyone argue with that? I don’t see how. There’s something perfect about these two meeting in the final. It’s been pre-destined since Matchday 1.

4. Who both play good football. The beauty of Barcelona’s football is not in doubt. I won’t go any further, because I’m sure you’re sick of us banging on about it. Man Utd may not be the kamikaze attacking force of ‘99, but the fluidity of their forward line is a minor miracle and they’ve become very good at counter-attacking in numbers. Those two styles are the ingredients for a great game.

5. Leo Messi. Do I need to say anything about him?? As Ray Hudson often beams on GolTv -he’s god send to bring joy to soccer fans all around. Leo alone can win it for Barcelona …..he’s that kind of a player. Leo inspires such terror in the opposition that often their gameplan is based around cancelling him out!!

6. Fergie vs Pep. Master vs Apprentice. The old Scot who’s been there, done that, and got the t-shirt (twice) vs the young manager in his first season.

7. A lot of non-neutrals. If you support Utd or Barca, then you’re all set. But fans of Arsenal, Chelsea, and – especially – Liverpool and Man City will also have a team to support (hint: it won’t be Man Utd). As will the numerous English football fans who are tired of Man Utd’s Premier League dominance (I’m not one of those, by the way). Meanwhile the world’s many many Real Madrid fans will no doubt be cheering the Red Devils.

8. We’ll find out who Fergie really loves. Man Utd’s rotation policy has been an unqualified success this season. Everyone has played and (almost) everyone is happy. But the Champions League Final is both Man Utd’s last game of the season, and Man Utd’s most important game of the season. So Berbatov or Tevez? Giggs or Park? Scholes or Anderson? We’ll find out on Wednesday.

9. Wayne Rooney. As always, Rooney will go one of two ways. It’s either a) matchwinner, or b) temper tantrum. Either way, he’ll be worth keeping an eye on.

10. Thierry Henry. Hard to believe that this man has never won the Champions League. But he hasn’t. And though many believe his powers are fading, he’s still an exceptional talent. This could be TH14’s last chance at a CL medal, he’s got previous against Man Utd, and assuming he plays wide left, he’ll be up attacking the one position Man Utd haven’t really settled this season

11. Ronaldo Vs Messi. Almost certainly the two best players in the world right now. Or at least the most dangerous. If both of them perform then we can expect fireworks.

Any other reasons to be excited?

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