Messi ready for United in Champions League final

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