Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

Barcelona's Big Triple

The 2009 European Champions League final, between Barcelona and '08 winner Manchester United, was a dream for football fans around the globe. The matchup featured Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Man U's Cristiano Ronaldo, perhaps the two best players in the world. Both clubs were shooting for history. A win would give Barcelona a treble, making it the first club in Spanish history to hold the country's league (La Liga), cup (La Copa del Rey) and Champions League titles at the same time. Man U was shooting for the "Impossible Quadruple," championships in the English Premier League, FA Cup, World Club Cup and Champions League. With Barcelona up 1-0 in the 70th minute, Xavi, the Spanish midfielder, delivered a pitch-perfect cross to Messi, who headed the ball into the net to seal it for Barcelona. "The whole planet bows before the best team in the world," boasted a Spanish sports newspaper. That's not hubris, just la verdad.