The Worldâ€™s best player, Cristiano Ronaldo, may have the opportunity to reclaim his individual awards by helping Manchester United trample Lionel Messiâ€™sBarcelona when both affront themselves at the Stadio Olimpico.
But the Argentine playmaker insists that though everyone portrays the Champions League final as a battle between the worldâ€™s two best players, the game is still very much and will be a team battle between Barcelona and Manchester United.
â€œNobody plays to be the best player in the world. This is a team game. I donâ€™t see it as a tussle between Cristiano and me. It will be a Barca-Manchester battle,â€ Messi was quoted as saying to the media.
Lionel Messi is currently being considered as the worldâ€™s best player and snatching Cristiano Ronaldoâ€™s titles is very much a possibility. The decisive moment which might put an end to the long-running Messi-v-Ronaldo debates will be the final in Rome.
However, Lionel Messi â€“ who refuses to enter in a challenge against Cristiano Ronaldo â€“ prefers to focus on team success.
â€œWhat is important is that Barcelona are champions of Europe on May 27 in Rome.
â€œIf we are champions it will certainly help me, but this is secondary.â€
On the other side, Manchester Unitedâ€™s number 7 Superstar has also constantly explained that he hated it when the public try and put him into an individual duel in big games. But the 24-year-old, who is avid of individual prizes, is also keen on playing excellent football and power Manchester United to glory.
Aside the Fifa World Club Cup trophy, the Red Devils have already got the Carling Cup and the English Premiership trophies in their bags. They could make it three cups won in 2009 if they defeat Barcelona in the final of the Champions League.
However, Lionel Messi is also eying an unprecedented treble for the Catalans as a Spanish team.
â€œI want the Treble. We will be the best Barcelona of all time and weâ€™re 90 minutes away from doing that.
â€œItâ€™s an opportunity to write ourselves in the history books.â€
The Argentine forward was rested for Barcelonaâ€™s trip to Mallorca in the weekend â€“ which the Blaugrana lost 2-1. Coach Pep Guardiola may opt to keep his ace out of the field of play until the great battle in Rome. Reflecting on this issue, Messi stated:
â€œI donâ€™t know how Iâ€™m going to spend all those days without being able to play â€” it seems ages just thinking about it.
â€œBut I will come back with batteries fully charged and I will be at the top of my game in Rome.
â€œWeâ€™re giving it everything weâ€™ve got. The team is focused.â€
Certainly, Manchester United will have to be at their very best to shut down Barcelonaâ€™s flow and flood of goals that have disgraced and cut down several opponents this term.
Written by: Angela Asante