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Poll: Best Player in Final

Your time to vote....

By Steve Goff  |  May 27, 2009; 4:50 PM ET
Categories:  Euro Champions League , Poll  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Euro Matchday: Barcelona vs. Manchester United
Next: Franklin, Oduro, Open Cup, ESPN

Comments

if not for Pique the match would have been very different. Everytime Man U looked to get a ball into the box he was there to cut it out. He probably wont get the credit he deserves for a well played match.
He was quitely barca's best defender while puyol whined and cried his way through the game.

Posted by: jjfooty | May 27, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Pique stopped so many crosses from reaching Ronaldo and Tevez, he is my man of the match.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | May 27, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

It's Iniesta. He bossed that match. But the pass masters never get the credit (says the Xabi Alonso fan).

Posted by: Louise9 | May 27, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I Agree. It took a for former red devil to stop Man U. If you cant beat them, Buy them!!

Posted by: jjfooty | May 27, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Definitely Pique for MOTM.

Posted by: CityBlues | May 27, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Pique, Toure, Busquets, Puyol.

After the first 10 mins., the MU forwards were starved of opportunity. (Perhaps due to Iniesta and Xavi, who eat time and space and regurgitate it as needed)

Color me shocked.

Posted by: JkR- | May 27, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Pique far and away.

And how ironic is it that Messi scores against an English team via his weakest area, his head?

Posted by: Juan-John | May 27, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Pique was very VISIBLY very important in the win. but let's not forget the quiet work of Sylvinho and Puyol. Both these men kept Ronaldo and Rooney in check throughout the whole game.

But to me, Puyol was MOM because of both his defense and offense. he threw himself headon into the attacking role taking over Danny Alves role. He clearly owned the sideline and created many more opportunities if only to help Barca stay dangerous. Were it not for him, most of Barca's attack would have fallen flat.

Puyol is man of the match!

Posted by: gmail | May 27, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I liked puyol's game. Sure he rolled, but it was his push that started the second goal. He was there for the headers and he filled Alves' role on the flank of the pushing the ball up.
I agree. Pique had a phenomenal game in the middle. Hell, he played better there than Marquez would have. Ironic it came against the team that let him walk away. The biggest foul Pique gave up was a good one. He was pretty solidly beat/caught off balanced by Ronaldo early in the game and committed the foul. If he didn't, I think the game would have been far different as Ronaldo would have been cleared to the goal...

Posted by: doh1 | May 27, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I agree, Pique and Puyol did great.

But Iniesta

is the glue that holds the offense together, and is arguably their most consistent threat at the moment. The reason that Barca won was because they exploited a here-to-for unchallenged weakness in Man U's game, the midfield. Xavi and Iniesta, (and in part Busquets) made Carrick, Anderson, Giggs, Park, and Scholes look foolish.

And Proved why it's more important to have distribution, as it can, in many cases, overcome all else. Think Torres, not Mastroeni, who gets browny points with some for attempting to break legs.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 27, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Puyol was great; Pique was greater. Puyol was brilliant; Pique was rock-solid. One or the other was MOTM. I'd say Pique.

Posted by: aardvark63 | May 27, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

the weakness for ManU is that they did not know what to do about the short passes. They were clearly frustrated by it. But i would not credit Iniesta for it.

and Yes Puyol should also win the award of Best Whiner for the night. He even outshone Ronaldo in that category. who knew?!!!

Posted by: gmail | May 27, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

The weakness for Man United is that they were effing awful today. They know they can play better and they looked out of it after the first goal.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | May 27, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with Puyol or Pique as MOTM, but it seems to me Ronaldo was the best player. He was basically 1 v 11 that first 15 minutes, and managing it easily. I hate admitting that, of course.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 27, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I'll take Iniesta. For all the talk of which attack would tear apart the other defense, this match was decided in midfield. Iniesta and Xavi were terrific. The real man of the hour is Guardiola though - he outmanaged the best in the game.

Posted by: Kev29 | May 27, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

The one thing I can't forget was how Messi scored off a header. Vidic did nothing, Van der Sar was well beaten.

For me, this was crazy.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 27, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

My only complaint (albeit a teenie-tiny one) is that the game wasn't like the Liverpool-Arsenal 4-3 EPL match from a couple months ago.

A game like THAT woulda made today's match an instant classic.

Posted by: Juan-John | May 27, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

My hat's off to Sir Alex. Most everybody knew that the only way to beat Barcelona was thuggery (it almost worked for Chelsea), but Sir Alex eschewed it. Maybe he really thought that Man U could win, or maybe he had too much pride to play that way.

Hard to say how the Swiss ref would heve reacted to thuggery. The ESPN yakkers seemed to think he would have countenanced it.

Posted by: aardvark63 | May 27, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Hard to say how the Swiss ref would heve reacted to thuggery. The ESPN yakkers seemed to think he would have countenanced it.

Posted by: aardvark63 | May 27, 2009 7:23 PM |

Well, they did give Ronaldo the yellow. I guess ManU needed to start with the thuggery much earlier?

Posted by: fischy | May 27, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

UnitedDemon:

To win via possession, your whole team has to be on that level. Torres can play that way for the US (at a lower level than Barca's midfield, obviously, but still good), but you can't do it alone.

***

My man of the match is Xavi, and it's not even close. Iniesta would be second.

Before the game I thought Man U would disrupt Barcelona just enough to engineer chances, and the missing defenders for Barca would be a problem. Instead, Barca put on a master class of how to use your skill set to beat your opponent. Missing 3 starting defenders, do you bunker down? Fortify your midfield with destroyers? No; you just never give the ball away. Xavi is the best example of this in the game today, and his showing today was a perfect example.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | May 27, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I use to say that there are three universal "manchegos" (people from La Mancha, in southern Castille): Don Quijote, Pedro Almodóvar and, off course, Andrés Iniesta. For me today it has been more clear than ever. He is the engine that makes play the Barça defense and attack as one team. Maybe Xavi (the second best today) is the brain of the team, but Iniesta is the heart in all senses. Together, the little castilian and the little catalan can destroy any midfield in the world.

Posted by: miguelcan | May 27, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and... Visca el Barça!

Posted by: miguelcan | May 27, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Following Barca all season and watching UEFA games like this make me realize just how scary good spain's senior squad can be/is. Pique hasn't even really played with the senior squad. I think he will now as a replacement for Puyol as he ages.
Throw in the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Fernando Torres, Villa, Sergio Ramos...yikes, this team is loaded!

Posted by: doh1 | May 27, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Iniestra, but I appreciate the spontaneous outpouring for Pique. It's great to see recognition for a defender who is so effective. We need more of that at SoccerInsider. (Perhaps now that DCU seems to be acquiring a defense, there will be more of it). Hope it's not just the defender dad in me talking.

Posted by: dccal | May 27, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

ChestRockwell

Just because the est of the team may not be up to the challenge of battling the top teams in the world, someone distributing to Dempsey, Donovan, Altidore, would at least mean we go down guns blazing, and not like a poor French Club team, all defense and no real danger. Which, you would have to admit, has been Bob's strategy.

Edu may improve, but all you will get with Bradley, Mastroeni, and Clark is retreating, frustrated destroyers who eventually destroy with yellow/ red cards.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 27, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

My hat's off to Sir Alex. Most everybody knew that the only way to beat Barcelona was thuggery (it almost worked for Chelsea), but Sir Alex eschewed it. Maybe he really thought that Man U could win, or maybe he had too much pride to play that way.
----------------------------

Well, they really could have. If Park reacts with more alertness to the rebound on the Ronaldo free kick, ManU goes up 1-0. If they're up at that point, it's a totally different game with any outcome possible.

Posted by: stancollins | May 27, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

ChestRockwell

Just because the est of the team may not be up to the challenge of battling the top teams in the world, someone distributing to Dempsey, Donovan, Altidore, would at least mean we go down guns blazing, and not like a poor French Club team, all defense and no real danger. Which, you would have to admit, has been Bob's strategy.

Edu may improve, but all you will get with Bradley, Mastroeni, and Clark is retreating, frustrated destroyers who eventually destroy with yellow/ red cards.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 27, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse
------------------------------------

Inconveniently enough Michael Bradley has a higher strike rate than Clint Dempsey does in WCQs. (4 goals/9 games vs 4/15.)

Posted by: stancollins | May 27, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Piqué is a great defender and the great revelation of the season in the spanish league. Some people calls him "Piquenbauer", remembering the great german defender Beckenbauer "der Kaiser". In the national team he scored a capital goal against Turkey in the world cup calification round some months ago in Santiago Bernabeu stadium. It was his first game with the senior team. And he is only 21 years old. I think that he has a bright future.

Said this, the key in the Barça's style is the midfield. It's more difficult, I think,to form a good midfielder as Xavi and Iniesta than to form a forward or a defender. A forward needs goal. A deffender needs positioning or/and strength. A midfielder needs skills and talent, they are natural team players before than individual stars. It's the dark work that sometimes nobody sees and nobody appreciates. The italians call them "fantasista", a word that is related with "fantasy", and they know something about football. Thus, i like when Xavi is declared the MVP of the mach or MVP of the Euro or when Iniesta is credited as the great player that he is. They are maybe the two best spanish players in the history, with the permission of Luís Suárez and Emilio Butragueño. But they don't make very much spots with Nike, they have not stunning girlfriends, nor tatoos or strange coiffures. They only play football, and thanks to the God of football for them.

Sorry for my bad english.

Posted by: miguelcan | May 27, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Iniesta and Xavi are the stuff. Barcelona wouldn't have been in this final had it not been Iniesta, The whole team rocked and rolled, but in the end Iniesta and Xavi are the truth.

Posted by: DadRyan | May 27, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

the soccer gods were good to us this year. Beautiful futbol won!
I do agree Sir Alex could have made it a bit nastier of a match, but he must have been convinced that United could take advantage of the weakened back line of Barca. In the following days many will question his tactics, since it seems Chelsea exploited Barca's weakness. I'm glad United never once decided to park the bus or make the game boring. They had their chances, especially early on.

Posted by: doh1 | May 27, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I give it to Puyol for thoroughly frustrating Ronaldo.

Posted by: Brokenbil | May 27, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

miguelcan:I beg to differ on one account. Xavi has a strange coiffure...:-)

Posted by: DadRyan | May 27, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

A. Overall, I'd say soccer won tonight as the game was on display for it's physical nature, creativity and passion.

B. Great goals, and so many near misses for Barca, while United never found it's legs and were spread out and forced to play by Barca's 1-0 lead.

C. Rafa Marquez, pobrecito, wasn't even on the pitch, but Barca's D won the game. Puyols and Pique were equally brilliant.

Posted by: delantero | May 28, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

""Some people calls him "Piquenbauer", remembering the great german defender Beckenbauer "der Kaiser""

Awesome! There was a guy on the "WINGS DOWN" version of DC United once that was named Rommel.

The skinheads of DC, sitting in the stands where the baseball dug eventually was and then wasn't, loved him.

Posted by: delantero | May 28, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

And did anyone else pick u on the underlying theme of Good vs Evil in "UNICEF vs AIG?"

Posted by: delantero | May 28, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

absolutely iniesta, this guy is amazing, creative and play so inteligent


http://www.dcunite.pl

Posted by: PioterP | May 28, 2009 6:04 AM | Report abuse

Xavi's cross to the far post was a laser.

Posted by: WorldCup | May 28, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

"I Agree. It took a for former red devil to stop Man U. If you cant beat them, Buy them!!" Posted by: jjfooty

JJfooty, you're either being ironic or very ignorant. Pique was developed in the Barca youth system. Man U BOUGHT him after being developed by Barca. Pique decided he wanted to return to his home club, so he did.

Posted by: timoteo1 | May 28, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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