Barcelona Champions At Wembley
In a game heralded as one of the greatest European Cup finals of all time Barcelona's magnificent 11 once again triumphed against Manchester United to lift the Champions League Trophy. In 2009 it had been in Rome, this time Wembley Stadium London was the stage.
Whilst Sir Alex Ferguson's Red Devils started brightly, once FC Barcelona settled into their passing game they were able to show their superior class, and as usual Xavi, Iniesta and Messi were at the heart of everything. It was a delightful through-ball with the outside of his foot from Xavi that set up the first goal... a well taken shot by Pedro. However as the blaugrana pressed for a second a moment of magic by Rooney drew the score level and set the contest alight. Exchanging neat passes with veteran Ryan Giggs, Rooney swept the ball into the back of the net with a sublime first-touch finish... in truth however, Rooney aside, MUFC were no match for the Catalans.
Manchester's goal brought out the best in Barca and, after missing a far easier chance at the end of the first half, Messi struck in the second, taking advantage of hesitant defending to lash a powerful shot past Van de Sar. There was still time for David Villa to add a very fine third, with a perfectly curled shot into the top right hand corner of the Dutchman's goal.
As the Barca players mounted the Wembley stairs to lift the Champions League trophy for the second time in three years, Captain Puyol showed a touch of class, giving fellow defender Eric Abidal, who was recently diagnosed with liver cancer, the armband and letting the Frenchman raise the cup up to the ecstatic away fans.