Many English football fans will be relieved as at least there is one English club left in Saturday’s UEFA Champion’s League final, which will be played at Wembley stadium.
Just like previous encounters, especially the 2009 final in Rome [which Barca won 2-0], Manchester United defenders will find it hard to stop Messi and company from scoring.
Messi is considered the best player in the world today and perhaps the greatest ever to have played the game.
His achievements at Barcelona have silenced his doubters at international stage where the youngster has struggled to reach his best form.
Players like Diego Maradona and Pele did so well for their national teams but did not shine like Messi in club football.
The 23-year-old is very imaginative with good reaction speed on the ball and this is why United will struggle to keep him quite this evening.
He is being used as a focal point in attack to distract the attention and physical availability of defenders and tight markers.
Barcelona are very good team but with Messi they are special. Messi takes them to a different level due to his magic in the game.
Spain won the World Cup and the Barca team has so many of their players, but Messi is by far their best player, and no team knows how to stop him, because he is unstoppable most of the times.
Only Germany managed to keep Messi dormant during the 2010 World Cup game against Argentina.
Manchester United does not possess the likes of Sami Khedira and Bastian Schwastiager. The duo is so good at ball possession and makes excellent tackles.
The likes of Michael Carrick, Anderson or even Darren Fletcher are far from this. Perhaps Fletcher could be comparable to the duo due to his style of play but has lost form through injury. Messi is being used as a target man in Barcelona’s team.
The fact that he has scored over 50 goals this season is simply incredible as he is not an authentic scorer in the sense he is not a centre forward or a striker
It is incredible to think that there was a physical problem with him as a boy and that they thought he would never be able to take the physical demands of football.
He is very strong and stable on the ball.
He highlights the modern age where small boys with enormous skills can be encouraged, and now illuminates matches on his own without actually having to raise his own game.
A lot has been made of the fact that he now plays through the middle of attacking line at Barcelona.
Barcelona lost the physical presence of Samuel Eto and Zlatan Ibrahimovic but Mess has replaced them with magic.
Barcelona has more than one heart.
As well as Messi dropping deep, United’s midfield will have to cope with Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Dani Alves and Pedro. While they are accurate in possession, they are also fast, and United simply do not possess the mobility to counter.
Park is no longer as fast as he was, even if he is just as fit.
Ryan Giggs is an impressive athlete to still be going at nearly 38, but has little speed left in his legs.
Carrick is very slow to handle Barcelona’s pace as already mentioned.
Whoever United have in midfield will not be able to get hold of the ball to give it to Wayne Rooney on the attack.
They well not be able to start many meaningful counterattacks, the one thing Barcelona’s high pressing leaves them vulnerable to.
This pressing gives United another problem. Their midfield cannot make the most of possession when under pressure.
With the exception of the Nani, who probably might even not start due to tactical reasons.
United will not be able to think and act quickly enough to retain the ball after they lose possession. In the Premiership and against teams sitting back, they have had less need to concentrate so intensely.