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May 26, 2011

Scholes: We can match Barca's style

Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has hailed Barcelona as "the ultimate" team, but is confident the Premier League champions can match their opponents blow-for-blow in the style stakes at Wembley.

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Scholes, 36, is preparing for his third Champions League final with United, having also competed in the 2008 and 2009 finals, though he missed out on the club's 1999 triumph through suspension.

The former England international helped United to the 2008 final by scoring the winning goal against Barca in the semi and he was rewarded with a place in Ferguson's starting line-up against Chelsea in Moscow.

But a year later it was a different story for Scholes, who was reduced to a 20-minute cameo at the end of the Red Devils' 2-0 defeat to the Catalans in Rome.

The veteran midfielder is expected to start on the bench again on Saturday, but he believes United are relishing the prospect of testing themselves against Pep Guardiola's talented charges.

"There is no doubt the two best teams have made it to the final,'' Scholes said. "Barcelona are the ultimate. They are what we all look to and want to play like.

"But our football can be just as good as theirs at times. We have a lot of quality too. Both teams want to go forward and score goals, so I don't think anyone could ask for a bigger or a better final.''

And Scholes says regrets over the meek surrender of their European crown to Barca in 2008 drive he and his team-mates to want to regain the title.

"There is a determination to make sure that doesn't happen again,'' Scholes said. "It wasn't a nice night and the summer afterwards felt very long. This time we intend to at least give it a go.''

Scholes is still to reveal his intentions for next season, having so far refused to say whether he is going to accept the option of another one-year contract.

"I felt great until the Rangers game [in December], when I did my groin,'' he said. "I should only have been out for a week to 10 days. It ended up dragging on for six weeks and I found it quite difficult to get back in.

"It took me a while to get used to the fact it would take me longer to get match fit again because I was only playing every couple of weeks. It is just the way it is. Now I am looking forward to a good end to the season.''

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