After some of the wonder goals from previous rounds and the high drama of the semi-finals, the Champions League final may not have delivered edge-of-your-seat, 90 minute excitement but what it did give us was a truly dominant performance by Barcelona, the new kings of Europe.
In what was described as the dream final, they proved far too strong for Premier League champions Manchester United and deservedly ran out winners by 2 goals to nil.
Footy Boots looks back at the game and charts the Football Boots timeline.
Two minutes in and Manchester United are applying the pressure. The English side win a free kick and Ronaldo’s effort is fumbled by Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes. Ji-Sung Park looks favourite to get to the rebound first but former United defender Gerard Pique intervenes and scrambles the ball away to safety.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly
United are still the team looking the most dangerous but their spell of domination is ended by Barcelona’s first real attack of the final with 10 minutes gone. Andres Iniesta injects some pace through midfield and releases Samuel Eto’o in to the United box. The Cameroon international is allowed to turn inside by Nemanja Vidic and with his new Puma v1.08’s, he fires the ball past Van der Sar. 1 – 0.
Andres Iniesta – Nike Total 90 Laser II
Iniesta may have been an injury doubt before this game but it looks like no-one told the player himself! Along with Xavi, he’s running midfield and already United are chasing the game. Then a mesmerising bit of skill from Lionel Messi as Carrick, Rooney and Vidic are all given the run around.
Xavi – adidas Predator Rome
United have brought on Carlos Tevez for the second half but it’s not making much difference. Barcelona are still the dominat force and nearly double their advantage when Xavi hits the post. His curling effort beats Van der Sar but smacks the upright and rebounds away to safety.
Twenty minutes are left as United fail to clear and the ball falls to Xavi. He strolls forward and sends his cross towards Messi who has split the United centre backs. For a moment it looks as if the pass is too high, but the diminutive genius seems to hang in the air and expertly sends his header in to the corner of the net. 2 – 0.
Lionel Messi – adidas F30i /F50i
United try and mount a response but Ronaldo’s effort is blocked by Valdes and once again, it’s the Spanish side who look the more dangerous. Even their defenders are getting in on the act as Carlos Puyul, the expected weak link at right back, plants a firm header goalwards but too close to the United keeper.
Carlos Puyol – Nike Air Legend II
It’s all over and Barcelona are the champions. The phrase reverberating around Rome and Manchester is: “We were beaten by a better team.” No doubt about it. They were.