Messi dismisses lacklustre United talk

Barcelona's Lionel Messi has dismissed suggestions that Manchester United lack the quality of previous squads ahead of the two sides' UEFA Champions League final on Saturday in London.

The match will be a repeat of the 2009 final that took place in Rome when Barcelona defeated Manchester United 2-0, with Messi scoring the second goal.

Some in the English media have suggested Manchester United were crowned champions for a record 19th time earlier this month despite lacking the sparkle of past squads, but Messi said he did not think the team was any weaker than in 2009.

We are facing a very strong adversary, which has very good players.
Lionel Messi, Barcelona forward

"They won the English championship and they are in the Champions League final. They can't be very weak if they have achieved all that," he told a post training session news conference.

"It is a final, it is a special match given what is at stake. The good memory of Rome is behind us. This will be a totally different match. We are facing a very strong adversary, which has very good players."

Barcelona and Manchester United are both seeking a fourth European Cup, which would take them level with Ajax and Bayern Munich and only behind Liverpool with five wins, AC Milan with seven and Real Madrid with nine.