Sunday, May 29, 2011


Prior to Barcelona's 3-1 masterclass over Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League Final at Wembley on Saturday, a die-hard Barca friend of mine said that he expected me to write an analysis of the match 'after we take the cup.' He said the words magnificent, splendid, magic, and awe should feature in it. Well, here it is!

Sir Alex Ferguson stood in awe on the sideline as his team capitulated spectacularly on Saturday evening. "In my time as manager it's the best team we have ever faced," Fergie would say later on. "No one has ever given us a hiding like that."

Indeed, such wizardry on a football field was previously unheard of. Xavi controlled his team in magnificent fashion, acting like the axis on a wheel around which all revolves.

Lionel Messi. One runs out of adjectives to describe the class of the man. To say he was splendid on Saturday night would not do him justice. His scorching curler to give Barca the lead was a goal from heaven, and will stay in the memories of Barca fans for some time to come.

Just for good measure, David Villa produced a moment of magic to put the seal on Barcelona's fourth Champions League triumph.

As Steve McLaren later said, "That was an education for Man Utd."

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