Wearing their white colored away kit, Man U kicked off as the stronger side with Cristiano Ronaldo threatening to score five minutes into the game. But with Barca midfielders Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez possessively controlling the ball, Man U soon lost control. Iniesta in his Nike T90 Laser II football boots paved the way for the opening goal when he found Samuel Eto’o, who deftly hit the net.
Red, white and blue
The atmosphere in the stadium was electric as fans from both sides came out in full support of their favorites dressed in their team colors. The stands seemed draped in shades of red, white and blue! The new Nike FC Barcelona home soccer gear saw a return to traditional vertical stripes of red and blue, said to be «designed to inspire the kind of football the club’s famous for – spirited, passionate and oozing Catalan pride!» And did it work! Post half time, midfielder Lionel Messi headed the ball over Edwin Van der Sar and clinched the second goal. He seemed adequately thrilled with his brand new boots – custom made Adidas F30i – and happily kissed them!
Certainly More than a Club!
On the one side, Man U could boast of star players like Wayne Rooney, Ronaldo, Tevez and Berbatov, on the other side, Barca dominated with the likes of Messi, Henry, Eto’o, Xavi and Iniesta. If the Catalan greats, Barca, scored 100 goals at the Liga, Messi, Henry and Eto’o were responsible for 69 of them! Maybe the white away kit wasn’t too lucky for Manchester United as they saw their dream to win their third Champions League trophy shatter. While the Catalans struck gold with their new look – a V-necked Nike Dri-Fit shirt that has the Catalan flag on the back of the neck and the label ‘Más que un club’ (More than a club) sewn inside. Barca stuck to its policy of not having a sponsor’s logo on their soccer shirts; something they have been adamant about ever since the club was formed. But they retained the UNICEF logo as part of the deal to not take any money, but use it to fund UNICEF’s humanitarian programs.
Three Cheers for the Champions
With this win, Barca now has three trophies to its credit – the Champions League, Liga and the Copa del Rey. Celebrations broke out on the streets of Barcelona when the team returned home. Thousands of ecstatic fans followed the open topped bus that had ‘Tricampeones’ (Three times Champion) emblazoned on it. To mark this special occasion, the players wore commemorative shirts with the words ‘Copa, Liga y Champions’ along with the team members names stamped on it.
Forgetting all protocol, the players ran onto the pitch of Camp Nou stadium and proudly held the three trophies up to their supporters who sang and chanted in reciprocation! The evening was sealed with another lap of honor, this time to the tune of Coldplay’s ‘Viva la Vida’ and crackling fireworks!
Whoever said what’s in a name seemed to have got it all wrong! A name, a number, a color – this is what champions are made of…
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