Lionel Messi's highlights from the 2009 Champions League final vs Man Utd

p1e9au942vfsk1pvmehm1cg05169.jpg

Today marks the 11th anniversary of the iconic 2009 Champions League final.

There are countless reasons why Barcelona's 2-0 victory over Manchester United in Rome is so legendary, but the fact it brought Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi together tops the list.

The greatest two footballers of our generation had met when United and Barca locked horns in the previous year's semi-final, but going head-to-head for 'Big Ears' was an entirely different prospect all together.

And although the Blaugrana were now with Deco and Ronaldinho, they were arguably a much stronger outfit under the management of Pep Guardiola in a startlingly good debut season.

Of course, we all know that Messi would get the better of his eternal rival in the 'Eternal City' and the game would turn out to be Ronaldo's last for the Premier League champions.

2009 Champions League final

The Portuguese was a real threat during the opening exchanges of the final, though he never did enough to score, but ultimately kissed goodbye to his United spell on something of a quiet note.

The same, however, can't be said of Messi who was able to exorcise the demons of having missed the 2006 Champions League final, which Barca won over Arsenal, through injury.

Samuel Eto'o fired Barcelona into an early leads thanks to some suspect defending from Nemanja Vidic, but it was Messi's goal that lives longest in the memory for football fans.

p1e9b076g13fs1cn112eklj11adm9.jpg

Messi shines vs Man Utd

Despite his diminutive stature, Messi floated in the air in a manner we've come to expect from Ronaldo to rise above Rio Ferdinand and head home Xavi's cross past Edwin van der Sar.

It's a goal so iconic and special to the player himself that Messi has even said in multiple interviews that, while it's not his greatest ever strike, it's most certainly his personal favourite.

But anybody who watched the final live knows that Messi did more than just score and his individual highlights from the game were compiled by YouTuber 'MessiMagic' two years ago.

The title even proclaims: 'The Day Cristiano Ronaldo & Co. Got Killed by Lionel Messi with Ronaldo's Own Weapon' to the tune of over one million views and 8,500 'likes'.

If that hasn't piqued your interest, we don't know what will, so check out Messi's stellar highlights down below:

The greatest player in history, no doubt about it.

The following season would see Ronaldo arrive at Real Madrid for a record transfer fee of £80 million, allowing him to lock horns with Messi in El Clasico at least twice a season.

And as much as both players enjoyed their successes and failures in the fixture, it was Messi who came out on top again in terms of wins, assists and goals.  

p1e9b0aveju8dhbf18utohd1grmb.jpg

So, no matter where you sit on the Messi vs Ronaldo debate, it's the Barcelona legend who has the better record when they go face-to-face and none more so than under the lights in Rome in 2009.

News Now - Sport News