Manchester United will win the Champions League final. There´s been much pant-wetting over this Barça team over the past few weeks, especially round these parts. But, I´m gonna put my hand up and say something controversial: they´re overrated.
Let´s take a quick look book over the past couple of years, shall we? First off, this season, La Liga has been shite. Valencia. Shit. Sevilla. Shit. Villareal. Shit. Atletico. Shit. All of them, utter garbage. And above all... Real Madrid are shit. And yet, this Real side, that has conceded 12 goals in their last 3 games, that should´ve lost to Getafe at home, if that lot knew how not to take comically awful penalties in the 90th minute of big games, that couldn´t even get near Liverpool, despite announcing beforehand that they´d piss all over them. A team whose best player is Arsenal and Chelsea reject Lassana Diarra. They´re terrible. And you know what? They´ve cantered into second place after a mid-season run that saw them take 55 points out of 57.
And yet, give them a reasonably effective coach, Van Nistelrooy, with Guti and Robben actually playing regularly and well, and they beat this same Barça side (more or less) the title last year.
Barça have had one challenge this season. Beating Chelsea. And they shouldn´t have. They should have been dead and buried, long before Iniesta´s speculative last minute drive. They´ve ropey first-choice defenders, most of whom are injured. They´ve two fantastic midfielder and one great forward. But I don´t think Yaya Toure, the 2009´s Thierry Henry or Samuel "rich man´s Andy Cole" E´too will exactly scare Vidic and Ferdinand.
Manchester United on the other hand have actually won a difficult league, have a midfield that seems adept at suffocating creative types like Iniesta and Xavi, and the best defence in, well, the world. Oh, and the best attacking player on the planet (and a few other good ones). So they´ll win next week.