Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Ghanaian preview of the European Champions League finale

Am sorry I couldn't come online with a post yesterday. I was taken a bit ill. Thanks for understanding

Which preview?


Simple as that.

Ghana acknowledges

Here in Ghana the streets are buzzing with a quiet fervour that is frightening. The zenith of the European football season is almost upon us, with the two teams most neutrals (and UEFA if you believe the conspiracy theorists) would want left standing for what promises to be an absorbing encounter at Rome's Stadio Olimpico.

And it all boils down to the two players to watch. Either it's a fan of Messi or Ronaldo. And then there is the thing that Chelsea fans want Manchester United to win because Barca kicked them out in painful circumstances.

The champions of England against the champions of Spain; holders against the main contenders; English football's most dominant force against the aristocrats of La Liga, British football's most decorated manager against a novice in his debut season as coach.

Conversely Arsenal fans want Barca's glory because of a similarity of philosophy - free flowing fluid football. For United, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez, if selected, are the main threats, while Barca boast the likes of Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry providing the incision in the final third.

All are players who can turn a game in the blink of an eye, all capable of illuminating the Rome night with a piece of individual magic.

Expect a night of high drama and no little skill by the Tiber, with the individual talents of Mssrs Ronaldo and Messi vying to engineer their side's success on the pitch, while the sideline plotting of Ferguson and Guardiola promises to add extra intrigue and allure.

Probable teams:

Manchester United (4-4-2): Van der Sar; O'Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Ronaldo, Carrick, Anderson, Park; Rooney, Tevez.

Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Puyol, Toure Yaya, Pique, Sylvinho; Xavi, Iniesta, Keita; Messi, Eto'o, Henry.