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Emery and Sağlam's final assessment

Published: Monday 23 May 2011, 10.17CET
Coaches' view: Valencia CF's Unai Emery and Bursaspor's Ertuğrul Sağlam faced Manchester United FC in the group stage, and told UEFA.com what they expect to see in the final.

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Published: Monday 23 May 2011, 10.17CET

Emery and Sağlam's final assessment

Coaches' view: Valencia CF's Unai Emery and Bursaspor's Ertuğrul Sağlam faced Manchester United FC in the group stage, and told UEFA.com what they expect to see in the final.

Europe's top coaches have been speaking to UEFA.com in the run-up to Saturday's UEFA Champions League final, telling us what they expect to happen when FC Barcelona take on Manchester United FC at Wembley.

Valencia CF boss Unai Emery and Bursaspor coach Ertuğrul Sağlam both came across United in the group stage: Emery's side went down 1-0 to Sir Alex Ferguson's men at Mestalla and drew 1-1 at Old Trafford, while Bursaspor lost home and away to United. And of course, Emery also knows Josep Guardiola's side well from the Liga.

Unai Emery, Valencia CF coach
The Champions League is where the best teams are; it's the highest level of European football for clubs. Competing in the tournament brings huge kudos. The best moment of this season for me and my team was our first group stage game in Turkey against Bursaspor; we achieved a great result, winning 4-0.

As for the final, it is a game between two teams with differing styles but with one important characteristic in common; they are both winners. The main quality that Barcelona have is their ability to control the game. It's difficult to compete with them when they have so much possession and stroke the ball around so well.

United know how they want to play and that's what makes them winners. Out on the pitch they always demonstrate their superiority but that will be trickier against Barcelona; they are coming up against a different class of rival. Both sides have individuals who can make a difference although in this respect I think Barça might have the edge.

Ertuğrul Sağlam, Bursaspor coach
We weren't completely ready to compete in the world's biggest club competition, but it was a huge experience for us. It broadened our horizons. However, from our point of view, it is nice to see United playing the final.

They have very talented players who have totally absorbed the philosophy of their long-serving coach. This manifests itself very well on the field of play. They are all very committed and in alliance to their individual talent, this makes for a very strong team.

We lost 1-0 and 3-0 against them in the group stage: they were the better side in both games. We had a good first half against them in Bursa, and had plenty of chances which we couldn't convert. After we conceded at the beginning of the second half, we had to take risks, and when you take risks against a team like United, things tend to get worse.

Barcelona play entertaining football; I would say they are the nicest team to watch in the world. As a football man, I love watching players like Xavi [Hernández], Andrés Iniesta, David Villa, Lionel Messi, Gerard Piqué and Carles Puyol.

I expect Barcelona to dominate possession in the final, but both sides will have plenty of chances to score. United may use their physical presence to create danger from set pieces.

Last updated: 07/12/13 3.50CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/news/newsid=1634098.html#emery+saglams+final+assessment

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