UEFA Champions League Final: Lionel Messi and 6 Key Players to the Game
In a rematch of the 2009 UEFA Champions League final, Manchester United and Barcelona will square off to decide which club is Europe’s best.
The Red Devils are hoping for a different outcome this time around, as Barcelona previously defeated them 2-0.
Both lineups are stacked with some of the best footballers in the world. However, a handful of those players especially need to have a big game in order for their side to win the Champions League.
Here are the six key players to the final.
Edwin Van Der Sar
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Edwin van der Sar has been one of the best goalkeepers in the world for several years, but the Manchester United goalie has announced he will retire after the Champions League final.
In his last professional game, van der Sar will need to be at the top of his game. Barcelona has one of the most potent offenses in Europe, having scored 95 goals in La Liga this year.
Van der Sar may need to produce one last clean sheet for Man U to win.
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The hero for Spain in the 2010 World Cup, Andres Iniesta is one of the key players for Barcelona in the final.
Iniesta and teammate Xavi control the midfield for Barcelona and distribute the ball with the best in the world.
Xavi should have a good game, and if Iniesta can match him and possibly produce a goal, Barcelona will be tough to beat.
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Javier Hernandez has been a revelation for manager Sir Alex Ferguson and the Red Devils in his first season playing at Old Trafford.
“Chicharito” has scored 20 goals for Manchester United this year and will need to add to that total in the Champions League final.
For the 22-year-old, the game will be the biggest of his life thus far, and he will need to be a good complement to fellow forward Wayne Rooney.
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Defender Dani Alves is a key player for Barcelona on both ends of the pitch.
The left back not only plays great defense for Barcelona, but he frequently attacks up the wing and sets up goal chances. Alves has 20 assists on the season, a career high.
Alves will be called on once again to attack Manchester United and set up David Villa and Pedro to finish.
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The leader of the defense, Rio Ferdinand will have his hands full with the Barcelona attack.
After missing the start of the season due to a knee injury, Ferdinand has come back strong to lead the Red Devils defense to a great season that led to 14 shutouts in the Premier League.
He’ll have a tough task trying to slow down Lionel Messi and the Barcelona offense, but with a strong showing by Ferdinand and his supporting cast, Manchester United can keep Barca at bay and be crowned champions of Europe.
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The best player in the world, Lionel Messi will need one more exceptional game to claim the Champions League title.
Messi has scored 52 goals in 54 appearances for Barcelona, so it’s safe to say there is a good chance he will put the ball in the back of the net in the final.
Messi will be the most important player on the field come Saturday. If Messi is on his game and playing well, Barcelona won’t be beat.