Messi: Barcelona not favourites for Man Utd clash

Star striker Lionel Messi has dismissed any notions that Barcelona start as favourites in Saturday’s Champions League final against Manchester United. The Argentine was also quick to point out that the Wembley showpiece will be a totally different affair to the meeting in 2009 when the two sides played in the Rome final: “We are up against a great team in a game that will be completely different,” he said. “I don’t know if United are stronger than two years ago, but I am clear that this will be a very even final.

“They’ve just won the Premier League and…they have an attack with a lot of quality players…I see them as a very tough team – a very difficult team to beat”, he added.

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The Catalans have already begun preparations for Saturday’s showdown with an open training session. It appears that manager Pep Guardiola will have a full squad of players to choose from with just reserve goalkeeper Manuel Pinto missing out through suspension after his red card in the semi-final first leg against Real Madrid.

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