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07.05.2009 13:36

Rome’s Olympic Stadium welcomes the best

Anna Segura

Attractive, attacking football has invaded the Champions League this season and on 27th May Rome will bring together the two teams that have done the most to deserve a place in the final.

They are the two teams that have played the best football this season and that’s why they have won the right to be in the Olympic Stadium in Rome on 27th May. The fact is that the Champions League has been taken over by good football this season by two teams with different styles but with a shared love of the game.

In search of goals

Both Alex Ferguson and Josep Guardiola believe that goals are the essence of football. Their teams have produced the most efforts on goal in the Champions League this season – Barça 83 and Manchester United 87. Way behind in third place come Porto, with just 68.

Barça top scorer

QM3D4787.jpgAlthough Manchester United have produced more efforts on goal, Barça has been more effective. Barça have scored 30 goals compared to Manchester United‘s 18.

Messi and Cristiano

Not only will the Olympic Stadium host a duel between the two best European teams, it will also provide a stage for a showdown between the number 1 and 2 players in the FIFA World Player rankings. The final will crown one of the two teams as champions of Europe but it will also have a big influence on the individual prizes handed out at the end of the season.

Messi top scorer in Europe

QM3D4725.jpgAhead of the final, Leo Messi has a clear lead over Cristiano Ronaldo when it comes to goals scored. The Argentine striker has 8 compared to Ronaldo’s 4.

League leaders

As well as their success in Europe, Manchester United and Barça are also clear leaders of the Premier League and La Liga respectively. Their league form has been implacable all season and they are both a short step away from claiming the title.

However, only Barça can still aspire to a historic league, cup and Champions League treble. Manchester United was eliminated from the FA Cup by Everton in the semi-finals.
Rome’s Olympic Stadium welcomes the best
The previous encounter
The last time that Barça and Manchester United met in Europe was just last season in the semi-finals of the Champions League. The tie was decided by a solitary Scholes goal in the second leg. Now Barça have the chance to get their revenge.

Meanwhile, Manchester United are back in the final for the second year running – the first time in seven years this has been done by any team. If they win, they would become the first team to win the new format Champions League in two consecutive seasons.

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