Doubtless, a lot of people in the universe are looking forward to May 28, 2011 for a myriad of reasons among which is the fact that it'll be a non-working day and as usual, it is customarily a period pegged for numerous leisurely activities.
However, one particular 'leisurely activity' pegged for May 28 is the object of this discourse and judging from the title, i bet you know which!
Needless to say that both teams are great sides going by their antecedents et cetera..and that, this re-match is one that will generate a lot of controversy before and after. The question being 'which side will win?'. Before jumping to any conclusions, i think it's best to do a little 'inventory' to see what each side has in 'stock!'.
Manchester United; The Three Wisemen
Sir Alex Ferguson is not a good coach/manager, he's a super coach/manager. He's regarded as the only 'irremovable' object in MUFC, the face one sees when thoughts of MUFC slips into ones mind. The genius responsible for transforming a team which hadn't won a league title in 26yrs into the best team in the world. He is also responsible for snatching the 1983 and 1991 cup winners cup from giants Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively while at Aberdeen FC,the last European trophies any Scottish side has won to date. Undoubtedly, Sir Alex is a master strategist,tactician and planner with unlimited experience at his disposal.
Invariably it's hard to imagine there were stoppers like Peter Schmeichel and former world best Fabien Barthez at Man. Utd before him, Edwin Van Der 'Sir' (pun intended) proved everyone who thought he was going to be a short term replacement wrong. Fast, agile, cool-headed with the uncanny ability to produce lightning saves, the 'Eagle' as he's wont to be called by fans is definitely one of the pillars that make the MUFC structure formidable.
Ryan Giggs; need i say he's the most decorated player in the squad? This dude surely has an 'anti-ageing' chromosome!. He has lived to tell the tale of so many destroyed defences, defenders and goal-keepers..fast,incursive,resourceful and also a game-changer, Giggs is a phenomenom!.
Barcelona; The Trinity
The Feeder; Xavi Hernandez is an icon but you can still pretend not to see him if you want to, not because he's short but because he hardly calls attention off the pitch of play. He forms the apex of the 'Barca triangle' and he's famous for his penetrating passes.
The Ghost; He's visible, infact very corporeal. Andres Iniesta has a modest game pattern, dribbles when necessary, passes when necessary e.t.c, football is so neat with Iniesta and he seems to move at the speed of thought like a ghost!
The 'Messiless Spirit'; This guy narrowly missed being a pigmy but it all worked out in the end, two World Player of the Year awards attest to that. He already has a chair waiting alongside Pele, Maradona, Cruyff, and Di Stefano. Considered inhuman by many judging by his on-the-ball movements. So unstoppable is his combination of balance and acceleration and his lightning-quick on-the-ball decisions that he makes opponents appear to have been napping.
Both sides have a lot of fast, incursive players. For Man. Utd they're J.S. Park, Rooney, Giggs, Chicarito, Valencia and Evra.
For Barca; they are the trio of Xavi,Iniesta,Messi,then Villa, Pedro, Alves, Afellay,Bojan just to mention the most ambitous ones because the entire team could as well be drivers!
The Goal Machine
Despite a decrease in seasonal goal tally, it's still Wayne Rooney for Man. Utd. He a goal focused player that can make them from everywhere.
For Barca, the boot aptly fits David Villa. His arrival injected a cutting edge into Barca after Eto'os' departure. He can also swing goals as fast as mood changes.
There's Anderson, Owen, Fletcher, O'shea, Smalling, Evans, Rafael et al.
Barca; Maxwell, Adriano, Affellay, Bojan, Suarez, Thiago, Sergio Roberto et al. Well, you might say i'm biased but i daresay Barca have a better Jury list to choose from.
What both don't have
Man. Utd dosen't have the stereo-type players that can aggravate Barca out of their traditional daunting passing game but their fast counter-attacks could just make up for that. Also they don't have the disadvantage of being topdogs and as such can go into the game with a balanced attitude.
Barca don't have the advantage of going into the game as underdogs..rather it's easy for them to become overconfident and this has cost them games in the past. However, they seem to have every other requirement including a Pep Guardiola who'll be looking forward to winning again at the same stadium where he won his first European cup for Barcelona in his first season as a player in 1992.
So who do you still think will win now?