Yesterday Barça took on Malaga away for the final match of the season. The result 3-1 to Barcelona. Barcelona carry the record for most away wins.
Great news ahead of the Champions League final in Wembley on Saturday, we will be able to go at Manchester United with a full quiver. Carles Puyol, and Adriano, both declared fit during the week. With the miraculous recovery of Eric Abidal, Puyol fit, and Busquets avoiding disciplinary action by UEFA we look to have our preferred defensive line-up, a rarity this season.
We’ll also have our back-ups fit with Bojan ready. He will have regained confidence as he made the score sheet in yesterdays match. Also Afellay had a good match and will very likely make the substitutes bench at Wembley. Mascherano will surely make trip to London as will Adriano.
During the week Barcelona had their League Championship trophy delivered to them for the third time in as many years. Tri-Champions!
Seven first teamers were rested for the final (Valdes, Pique, Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Villa), so we’ll have our strongest team available. But Manchester United are also expected to have their strongest XI fit and are coming off of a great win at home to Blackpool.
Hopefully this time next week we’ll be recapping a Champions League win!
Until then let us enjoy some quotes from the week about the CL (courtesy of @Barcastuff)!
Jack Wilshere (Arsenal): "Messi, Iniesta and Xavi are the best players around. They showed it at the World Cup, and again throughout the CL this season."
Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal): "If United defend well they have a chance, but if they don't control Messi, Villa and the others then they will have a tough time."
Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United): "Messi is one of, if not, the best player in the world. He can hurt you anywhere on the pitch. It's not just going to be down to 1 or 2 people to take care of Messi, it's going to be down to the whole team. But Barcelona will be thinking the same thing with our players. We've got some players that can hurt you from all over the park"
Josep Guardiola: "Man United have a small advantage in the final: they lost 2 years ago. Winning can confuse you and make you lose focus"
Kaka (Real Madrid): "Who do I support in the final? I support football. I have friends at both United and Barça. It will be a great final." I wonder what that means….
Pepe Reina (Liverpool): "Barcelona and United are the two teams who most deserved to be in the final of the Champions League."
Juliano Haus Belletti (ex-Barcelona): "Everyone agrees that Barça is the best team in the world but a final is different. There are no favourites for the Wembley final"
Pepe (Real Madrid): "We deserved to be in the final. Now I support United. I have friends there like Anderson and Nani."
Paik (Barcelona youth player): "I think Park is better as winger than in midfield. He's a great player, very fast, and very experienced."
Nani (Manchester United): "When we reached the final, a fan said 'Yeah, we're going to win vs Barcelona because Park is going to run all day with Messi'"
Eric Abidal: "I'm working and training hard to be able to play 90 minutes at Wembley, but in the end the coach will decide."
Samuel Eto'o (Inter): "I'd like Barça to win at Wembley, although it's clear that everything is open in a final and anything can happen."
Paul Scholes (Manchester United): "We'll be focusing on our strengths and finding ways to beat them. We know we can play football just as well as them." "Barcelona are probably the ultimate team when it comes to playing football. We all look up to and want to play like them"
Pedro: "The CL final will be a very tough game. United is better than in 2009, they have a very solid team. It will cost a lot." "The quick return of Abidal is fantastic news and it has given the team strength. We want to win the final and dedicate it to him."
Lionel Messi: "I never scored in England? Really? Let me think... Yeah, you're right. Never thought about it, must be coincidence." "I think it's a kind of dream final. United will play their own game. I'm convinced it will be an excellent game."
Arsene Wenger (Arsenal): "You know Barça will have 70% possession so United will have to be very efficient for the 30% they have the ball."
Nani (Manchester United): "The defeat in Rome hurt us a lot and the team is very motivated to beat Barça this time.""Every Barça player can make the difference. If we want to beat them, we have to control them all."
Michael Owen (Manchester United): "A lot of what we're doing in training is focused on stopping Barça. I was playing as David Villa on the left wing today in training."
Joan Laporta (Ex-Barça president): "What I like about the CL final is that football has won, because the two teams that play best in Europe have reached the final."
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