Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Messi and Ronaldo to light up final

It seems fitting the Champions League final will take place between United and Barcelona because that's who Fergie believes possess the world's two most gifted footballers, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

While Ronaldo hasn't quite hit the heights of last year, and if he had we'd be questioning whether he was human or not, he has once again shone in the big games, while Messi has looked on a different planet to the rest of the dross in La Liga.

And it's no surprise that Sir Alex has singled the pair out ahead of next Wednesday's Rome showpiece.

Ferguson said: "There are some players, such as Kaka, Messi and Ronaldo who are innately gifted.

"But this is not enough, and there is a practice element which becomes very important.

"If you watch Cristiano Ronaldo, he practises after every squad training session, and quite a few others do the same.

"As a coach, we dedicate parts of the training to improving touch, movement, passing and speed of play, but the special quality, the detail, depends on the player being willing to sacrifice himself after training - this is a hallmark of the great players.

"If the big talents only rely on their natural ability, they won't have that extra edge. They must do something extra on their own".

When I think of the current generation, Lionel Messi is top level and, although he has never really taken my breath away, Kaka has impressed. Messi will almost certainly line up on the right wing against United and his battle with Patrice Evra will be one of the many highlights, but it will be interesting to see where Fergie decides to play Ronaldo in the Champions League final.

He played so effectively as a central striker in the semi-final second leg win over Arsenal and he could feature there again or Fergie might just go with Carlos Tevez with Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney either side of him.

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