Lionel Messi is rested and will be looking to add to his season
tally of 52 goals when Barcelona plays Manchester United in the
Champions League final for the second time in three years.
The Argentina forward scored in Barcelona’s 2-0 win over Man
United in the 2009 final in Rome, but is expecting a tougher
challenge at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday.
”It’s a final, a special game to play,” Messi said Monday from
Camp Nou Stadium. ”There are great memories of Rome, but those are
behind us now – this will be a completely different game.”
Messi hasn’t scored since striking twice in the 2-0 win at Real
Madrid in the first leg of the semifinals on April 27. The leading
scorer in the Champions League with 11 goals, he hopes that playing
in Europe again will help end his four-game drought.
Messi and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo have both scored
more than 50 goals in all competitions this season.
Since Guardiola took charge, Messi has 137 goals in 158 matches
for Barcelona. But he acknowledged feeling slightly frustrated at
having to sit out the last two league matches with the title
already secured for a third straight year.
”I wanted to play but this is also good for me after so many
games this season. I’m well rested and ready to go,” Messi
One of the key components of Barcelona’s possession-based
attacking style of football, Messi is hoping his team can win a
third European Cup title since claiming its first in 1992, which
was also played at Wembley.
Messi has now been at the club for 10 years, but he missed the
victory over Arsenal in the 2006 final because of a knee injury. He
also has no memories of the team’s first European Cup win, with
Guardiola in the team, while he was at home in Rosario,
”The truth is none. I didn’t know it was happening, so I didn’t
see it – I was five,” Messi said.
Guardiola believes he knows the way to get his star player
scoring again on Saturday.
”We’ll attack from the start. We’ll attack, yes,” Guardiola