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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 1 day ago
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By ESPN Staff
May 26, 2009

Begiristain: Barca hungry for treble

Barcelona technical secretary Txiki Begiristain has urged the team to make the most of their "unique opportunity" to seal a place in the history books.

The Catalan giants take on Manchester United in the Champions League final looking to complete an unprecedented treble.

And Begiristain knows that adding Europe's premier club trophy to their Primera Division and Copa del Rey titles will cap an incredible year for them.

"We have done very well until now to reach here and now is the time to finish off the work of the whole season," he said. "It's a unique opportunity in the club's history and the team have to enjoy it and be aware of it to achieve it.

"The team feels that there is a lot to lose in this game. You don't play finals each year and it costs a lot to get to one.

"The team feels they have to make the most of this opportunity and they have to win the Champions League."

Begiristain thinks United will approach the game defensively and has warned his players to be wary of their counter-attacking skills.

He said: "I imagine we will be faced with a team who are tight at the back, and I see a Barcelona who will definitely put pressure up front.

"Their great danger is that playing with a defensive style they can count on an exceptional counter-attack."

Just as it was in last year's semi-finals, much has been made of the battle between World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo and Barca star Lionel Messi.

However, Begiristain has no doubt over who he believes will be more decisive and hopes the pre-match build-up will spur the Barca star on.

"Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo," he said. "In the last match between the two teams, he was better.

"I hope Messi gets het up. If he is annoyed by something he is very dangerous.

"And I believe he is het up by the comparisons they are making. It annoys him."

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