Barcelona 3, Man United 1: Barca wins CL final

Saturday May 28th, 2011

As they emerge on to the pitch for this Champions League final, one thought will buzz around every player's head -- both managers', too: this way greatness lies. Few reputations are likely to be destroyed by defeat here, but they could be gold-plated by victory. The winners will put a fourth European Cup in to their clubs' trophy cabinet having defeated the other of the world's two best sides this season at Wembley, the arena that, in a previous life, also hosted Manchester United's and Barcelona's earliest triumphs in Europe's flagship competition.

These are not the ingredients for cooking up a turkey. Alex Ferguson, who has previously described the Champions League as "better than the World Cup," believes this final could be the competition's best ever, so us mere mortals can be forgiven for lusting after a classic that we'll recall long into old age, exchanging the twinkly-eyed glances of history's witnesses.

The match kicks off at 2.45 p.m. ET; I'll be online to provide real-time updates, analysis and a spot of chitchat from 2 p.m.

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