Messi embarrassed me in Champions League final: Ferdinand

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BARCELONA

Rio Ferdinand has admitted he felt embarrassed after M a n c h e s t e r United lost the 2011 Champions League final to Barcelona. Goals from Pedro, Lionel Messi and David Villa saw Pep Guardiola’s side run out 3-1 winners at Wembley, with United striking through Wayne Rooney. Barca’s side that season is widely considered to be one of the best ever, with the midfield trio of Sergio Busquets, Xavi and Andres Iniesta arguably at their peak. Ferdinand and United had faced Barca in the final two years previous and lost – and the defender knew all about Messi after his stunning header in that game. “Messi was a killer,” Ferdinand told Copa90. “Ronaldinho was unreal, the free-flowing magician. “But with Messi, he’d do all of that but there was always a goal or an assist at the end of it.” Ferdinand revealed a conversation with United icons Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes following the 2011 showpiece, after Barca had dominated the game throughout to claim their second European title in three years. “Barca gave us an absolute lesson at Wembley,” Ferdinand added. “I was standing there watching them lift the trophy and me, Giggsy and Scholesy were standing together with our hands over our mouths and I said: ‘I feel embarrassed lads’. Ferguson, who won the Champions League in 1998- 99 and 2007-08, was left with no doubts as to which side was the superior. “They’re the best in Europe, no question about that,” he said at the time. “In my time as a manager, I would say they’re the best team we’ve faced. Everyone acknowledges that and I accept that.—AP

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