FC Barcelona defeated reigning champion Manchester United, 2-0, in the UEFA Champions League final in Rome on Wednesday.
Samuel Eto’o set the tone early. In the 10th minute, Eto’o cut inside Nemanja Vidic, fended off Michael Carrick, and then delivered a strike that got past Man U goalie Edwin van der Sar. Teammate Lionel Messi sealed the game in the 70th minute for Barcelona with a header goal.
Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo was ineffective in the duel against Messi for rights to the crown of the world’s greatest soccer player. Last season, Ronaldo led Man U to the UEFA European title while winning the European and FIFA World Player of the Year.
The win could possibly give Messi the same type of accolades this season as he helped to lead Barca to the title, denying Manchester United’s chance at becoming the first team to win consecutive Champions League soccer titles.
Barca, the top futbol team in Spain's La Liga, defeated Chelsea, last year’s runner-up, 1-1, in the UEFA semifinals to face Manchester United. This is the club's second European football title.
In the title game, Barcelona had 12 shots (7 on goal), while Manchester United had 11 (2).
Barca was helped by the return of Thierry Henry, who has been kept out of play since May 2 due to injury. However, Barcelona missed injured Rafael Marquez, and suspended Daniel Alves and Eric Abidal.
Manchester United has a star-studded football roster of Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, Dimitar Berbatov, Carlos Tevez and future superstar Federico Macheda. However, Berbatov and Tevez were substitutes and Macheda did not play in the title game.
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