If it wasn’t for Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona, Rio Ferdinand and his former Manchester United teammates may have had two more Champions League winners’ medals in their collections.
Guardiola’s legendary side beat the Red Devils in the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals.
Goals from Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi earned Barça victory over Sir Alex Ferguson’s team in Rome back in 2009.
The two sides then went head-to-head again two years later at Wembley, but Guardiola and his players lifted the European Cup once more thanks to a 3-1 win.
Wayne Rooney cancelled out Pedro’s opener but Messi and David Villa’s second-half goals ensured a fourth Champions League triumph for the Catalan club.
What did Ferguson say about Guardiola’s Barcelona?
“They’re the best in Europe, no question about that,” Ferguson conceded after the final whistle. “In my time as a manager, I would say they’re the best team we’ve faced. Everyone acknowledges that and I accept that.
“It’s not easy when you’ve been well beaten like that to think another way. No one has given us a hiding like that. It’s a great moment for them. They deserve it because they play the right way and enjoy their football.”
What did Busquets say to Rio in the 2011 UCL final?
Speaking during the Euro 2020 semi-final between Spain and Italy at Wembley, the scene of one of Barcelona’s greatest ever performances, Ferdinand told a funny story about how Sergio Busquets left him feeling “like a Conference player”.
“We were here at Wembley and we got abused in that game by Barcelona – they were brilliant,” the legendary United defender said.
“Confidence is low, we’re trying to get the ball back off from at a throw-in – ‘give me the ball, give me the ball!’
“And he said ‘Ah, Ferdinand, [Nemanja] Vidic – *boom, boom, boom*’
“I swear I felt like a Conference player. It was unbelievable. I thought ‘wow, cheers man!’”
Savage from Busquets.
Watch the video here…
Busquets was implying that all Ferdinand and Vidic were capable of was hoofing long balls down the pitch.
That wasn’t a fair assessment of either defender.
Ferdinand, in particular, was outstanding with the ball at his feet and could easily have played for Barcelona at his peak.
But Busquets clearly wanted to leave his opponent feeling even more demoralised at the time, and it seems it did the job.
Rio hasn’t forgotten the Spanish midfielder’s cutting words on one of the most difficult nights of his career.
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