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Lionel Messi has described Barcelona’s forthcoming Wembley showdown with Manchester United as the “dream Champions League final” while playing down the fact he is yet to score on English soil.

“I have the greatest respect for his [Ferguson’s] work. You must be a great coach and an exceptional person, if you succeed in the same club again and again to win titles to develop players and playing styles.

“They are strong, and they will not try to destroy our game. Manchester will make their own game.

“I think it is a kind of dream final, when we meet Manchester United. They are a team on the same level as us and I am convinced that it will therefore be an excellent final.

“The Champions League is the most important competition in addition to the World Cup. It is the world’s best players there. I have great expectations for this final because I think that both teams play without tactical shackles.”

In a season during which he has scored 50 goals in all competitions, Messi is yet to score in an English stadium.

The record may well be of comfort to United fans but Messi insists his lack of conversions is a coincidence not a curse.

“Is it really true that I have not scored in England before? Let me think about it … yes, you are correct,” he said. “I’ve never thought about it and I also believe that it is a coincidence.

“I will do everything we can at Wembley to score a goal. But you know me: If we win the Cup, it does not interest me who scored the goals.”

Messi on Cristiano Ronaldo winning the Pichichi:
“I am extremely impressed by Ronaldo’s performance. He deserved to play in a more offensive-oriented team Clásicos against us. His last final spurt with seven goals within four days I was amazed because I thought I could win the Pichichi. But with so many goals he deserved the title.”

Messi on which United players would settle-in at Barcelona:
“Hernandez could fit us. He speaks Spanish and has a great style. It is difficult to predict what he does in a fight next, and that’s what we see as a strength of our team. Wayne Rooney could also be possible. He has been playing at the highest level of recent years – I am sure that his style in no time he could adapt to the Spanish conditions.”

Messi on being compared with Maradona and Pele:
“I do not know if I’m already as high as Pele and Maradona. Both were great players and have thus gained a lot with the national team, which I lack. What is more, it is hardly possible to compare players from different eras of football together. If I am in 50 years as a major player in the memory of this fantastic Barça team, I am very proud.”

Source: Telegraph

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