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Fan vs Fan - Barca - Man Utd

clfinallogo.jpgAhead of the final we got hold of Francisco a Barcelona and Poonam a United fan to hear their thoughts on the match and season so far..

How would you rate your season so far?

Francisco: It has probably been one of the best seasons in the club’s history, not only because of the results (La liga and Copa del Rey champions already) but because of the beauty of the game the team has produced throughout the season. Very few teams in history have been able to play like that; 1970 Pele’s Brazil, 1974 Cruyff’s Holland, 1991-1994 Cruyff’s (as the coach) Barcelona, 1999 Ferguson’s Manu…etc. There is no doubt that this Barca has been playing as good as these mighty teams and I dare to say better.

vida.jpg
 Vidic: A cornerstone in United's success this season

Poonam: It's been a fantastic season really. After winning the EPL and the CL last season i wasn't sure what to expect. But the staff and players have shown that they are still hungry for success. We may not have played the most flamboyant football, but we have been very consistent. The fact that we have been solid defensively means that we were able to grind out wins even when not playing at our best. We've also shown great spirit by coming back from behind several times to win games. If i were to put a figure i would say 8.5/10

Can it be considered a success regardless of whether you win the Champions League?

Francisco: The Champions League would be a very nice topping on this season’s cake but the success is already there, Titles are a nice way to finish a season but what Barcelona has done is greater than that. They’ve created a successful model based on talented young blood home-grown in Barcelona, something truly unique in modern days and a new bench-mark for other clubs in years to come.

Poonam: Certainly. FIFA Club world cup winners, English Premier League winners, Carling Cup winners, FA Cup semifinalist and CL finalist.. It doesn't get much better than that. But winning the CL would probably make it the best season ever..

What has been your best performance in the competition so far?

Francisco: Because of what it meant and how it ended “el clasico” victory in Madrid by 2-6 was a glorious match, they thought they could defeat us and they had an impressive string of victories. We destroyed them with elegance and flair. Epic truly epic….I got drunk that day with the sort of happiness that only football brings you from time to time.

Poonam: We had a good first half against Inter in Milan and we played well at OT against Arsenal, but we could not kill the game. Return semi final leg at Emirates was a different story though. A game to remember as we simply outclassed Arsenal to cruise to the final. Ronaldo gave one of his best performance in a United shirt on thar night and the team performance as illustrated by the third goal, was simply sublime.

Who would you highlight as a man to watch from Barcelona? And who do you see as Man Utd’s greatest threat?

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 Xavi: Barca's man to watch

 

Francisco: Home grown players are the heart and soul of this team (Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Puyol, Valdez, Busquets, Bojan, even Pique) You can never forget about Etoo or Henry either. But if I had to name just one; Xavi if he’s having a good day this team is a playstation fantasy.
Man Utd’s greatest threat as I see it might be Vidic. He’s the kind of player that can do a lot of harm to a team like Barca. Also you can’t forget about Ronaldo and Rooney they are top players in top shape.

Poonam: I'm tempted to say Wayne Rooney. If he's having a good game he can carry the team on his shoulders.As for Barca, i will go with Xavi. He dictates the game, so United have to make sure they can keep him under control.

How do you expect the game to be played?

Francisco: It’s gonna be a tough battle all over the pitch, I think Man Utd’s defence is much stronger than Barca’s but I see a little advantage in midfield quality for the Catalans. Both team’s strikers are dream players and any of them can change everything with a genius stroke at any time. I reckon Fergusson will use the Chelsea strategy and take it one step further with more efficency,

hopefully Guardiola has learned the lesson and has a plan to break the wall.

Poonam: I would love to see a game played at high tempo, lots of attacking football and no observation rounds. Unlikely though, i think the game might open up only after a first goal.
What do you expect your teams’ line up to be?

Francisco:
Valdes; Puyol, Touré, Piqué, Sylvinho; Xavi, Iniesta, Keita/Busquets;  Messi, Henry,Eto’o

Poonam:
Van der Sar; O'Shea, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra; Park, Carrick, Anderson, Giggs, Rooney; Ronaldo

Your prediction?

Francisco: 3-2 for Barca (more a wish than a prediction) but may the best team win and I’m sure we’ll see some good football whatever happens. Good luck to all Man Utd fans!

Poonam: 2-1 to United

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