Champions League Final 2009 News

Sir Alex: This is our time

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There are moments Sir Alex Ferguson rues in past European expeditions; missed opportunities that fuel his burning desire to maintain a relentless pursuit to put United where he says the club belongs: among the continent’s elite.

Reigning European champions, the Reds are the dominant force despite Barcelona’s protestations, but Sir Alex wants more trophies to prove it. He joked in Rome that his team-talk will come to him during a restless night’s sleep. You can bet it’ll be a spine-tingler.

Just as equalling Liverpool’s 18 league titles was never even considered ‘job done’, neither would becoming the first team to retain the Champions League. Sir Alex has bigger plans, but winning on Wednesday would be a good start, or rather a continuation.

“There’s an opportunity for us to put ourselves alongside Europe’s great teams. This is a squad with a great future, a young team withh experience to do well in the next few years. On Wednesday we can endorse that.

“To be considered a great team, you have to win the European Cup again. But there have been unlucky teams down the years. You have to win this cup, it’s a prerequisite. Teams like ourselves and Barcelona have to win this trophy to be considered in that regard. But not everyone can win it.

“Nobody has retained the trophy,” he adds. “But we’re good at firsts. We have a opportunity to repeat that. It’s interesting – unusual – that nobody has retained the trophy since the Champions League started. It was done regularly in the sixties and seventies. There were cycles of great teams, like Ajax, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. We have an opportunity to change that; I hope we take it.”

Possible starting XI

Manchester United: Van der Sar, O’Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Anderson, Carrick, Giggs, Ronaldo, Rooney, Park.

Guardiola calls for courage and audacity

barce

Pep Guardiola is demanding courage and audacity from his team in Rome – in other words that they stay true to the style of play that’s brought them such success this season.

Guardiola turned his pre-match press conference into a ringing declaration of intent, revealing that he’s asking his players to show the same character and style that they’ve exhibited in this season’s previous 61 games.

There was clearly no worry about nerves or the big game affecting Barca’s commitment to going forward as Guardiola insisted “they (Manchester) know that we’ll attack. We have to show what we’ve done this year and play as we have been all season”.

United happier in defence

Guardiola knows that his team need possession: “if they are half an hour encamped in their own box, they are quite happy with that, but if we are stuck defending right in front of Victor then that shows something’s not working right. They are better than us at that type of game. We know we have to have good possession and a solid defence – if they attack, they can attack well, they know what they are doing. They can dominate all over the pitch”.

The Barca boss, who also again insisted that the players he’ll be missing on Wednesday can be no excuse, expects United to come out on the front foot too: “if they are defending, it’ll be because we’ve forced them to do it with our attacking style of play. I don’t expect them to sit back and defend. If we are not at our best, they will attack us and cause us problems”.

“Match of the season”

Although Guardiola admitted that fear can often serve to fire a team up, he doesn’t want his players to be afraid: “we’ve shown we have courage and we’ll do the same again tomorrow. There are some very small changes for this game, but in essence our game is to build from the back, keep possession…. This is the match of the season”

Iniesta and Henry

One thing Guardiola wouldn’t be drawn on though, was who’ll be playing at left back, Keita or Sylvinho, though he did confirm he’d be counting on Iniesta and Henry after their recent injuries as well as on Leo Messi, a player he reckons: “is the best in the world”.

Possible starting XI

Barcelona: Valdes, Puyol, Pique, Toure, Keita, Iniesta, Busquets, Xavi, Henry, Eto’o, Messi.

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~ by awbroady on May 27, 2009.

One Response to “Champions League Final 2009 News”

  1. ferdinand looked an average player against barcelona last night .

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