LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 28: Eric Abidal (R) of FC Barcelona lifts the trophy and celebrates with teammates after victory in the UEFA Champions League final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United FC at Wembley Stadium on May 28, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
A measure of Barcelona's brilliance is that many Manchester United supporters left Wembley feeling guilty pleasure. They applauded their own team as their players stepped through the rubble of this defeat but also tucked away the memories of the night they saw Lionel Messi and Xavi win a European Cup with mesmerising dexterity.
Graeme Souness’s garlanded European career at Liverpool encompassed the humbling of Real Madrid and the vanquishing of Roma, but the Scot has made up his mind: the Barcelona team on display on Saturday night are simply the "best side ever".
As Pep Guardiola was congratulated at the top of the Wembley steps by a smiling Sir Bobby Charlton, you would like to think that one of the game’s greatest players was resigned to telling the young master of Barcelona that he had just beheld one of the finest teams in history.
Lionel Messi refused to take the credit for Barcelona's 3-1 Champions League final win against Manchester United even though the Argentine maestro stole the show at Wembley with a sublime display.
The Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has warned that Pep Guardiola's team are hungrier than ever after confirming their place among history's greatest sides at Wembley on Saturday night. The Catalans 3-1 win over Manchester United earned Guardiola his second Champions League trophy as a manager and his 10th trophy in his first three years as a coach.
The difference between Barcelona and Manchester United was clear to see during the Champions League final, as Lionel Messi inspired Pep Guardiola's side to a 3-1 victory.
But the collective effort of the Catalan team was crucial in constructing the win, demonstrated by the following statistics courtesy of Opta.
Rio Ferdinand insists Manchester United can look back on a good season despite another crushing Champions League final disappointment.
For the second time in three years, United could find no answer to Barcelona.
Wayne Rooney's first-half equaliser might have given Sir Alex Ferguson's men some hope of recording a shock victory at Wembley on Saturday night.
Barcelona may have entered the pantheon of European football's greatest teams, but coach Pep Guardiola is keeping his feet on the floor following Saturday's destruction of Manchester United.
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola wants to stay on for another season at the Nou Camp after leading his team to a second Champions League title in three seasons.
Barca produced a masterclass to take home the trophy after a 3-1 win over Manchester United at Wembley, but there had been speculation the match would be Guardiola's last.
Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that Barcelona are the best team he has ever faced after they won the Champions League final thanks to an inspired performance from Lionel Messi.
The Spanish media on Sunday praised Barcelona to the skies after Saturday's impressive 3-1 defeat of Manchester United in the Champions League final.
It was only to be expected that the Catalan papers and radio stations would be lavish in their praise of Pep Guardiola's talented team.
What was not expected, however, was that the media of Madrid would be almost as fulsome in their praise.
But Barca were so impressive at Wembley on Saturday that the Madrid media really had little choice but to accept their superiority.
At least this time, there was a brief moment of possibility. Manchester United's European adventure may ultimately have been surrendered here at Wembley as it had been in Rome in 2009, skewered on the genius of Lionel Messi. But two seasons on, this time its death was a brave one.