Newspapers around the continent have been unanimous in their admiration for UEFA Champions League winners FC Barcelona, with Spain's La Vanguardia labelling Josep Guardiola's men "one of the best teams in history". In England, meanwhile, the Sun has ranked their 3-1 defeat of Manchester United FC among "the greatest ever team performances in a European final", while Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has come in for acclaim from far and wide.
Barça enter the pantheon of the gods
La Vanguardia, Spain
"Barcelona achieved their first European Champion Clubs' Cup at Wembley and it was at the very same ground in London that they were confirmed – as if there were any remaining doubt – as one of the best teams in history. It's not just a question of the titles they have won but of that enchanting style that sees them leap every barrier. They are the finest side in Europe and speak a particular footballing language unintelligible to the rest."
Best bar none
The Sun, England
"Barcelona were better than two years ago in Rome when they ran out 2-0 winners – and United were worse. A privileged 87,695 witnessed one of the greatest ever team performances in a European final and possibly the greatest player to have played in one in Messi. Diego Maradona, after all, never played on European football's greatest stage."
Wembley falls in love with Barcelona
El País, Spain
"The legends of Barcelona and United began at the old Wembley, the Azulgrana with their victory against Sampdoria and the Red Devils defeating Benfica. This time around, returning to a stadium as newly renovated as both these clubs, the question was raised as to who would mark the current era and there was little doubt as to the answer. Glory once again went to the sublime Barça of Messi and [Éric] Abidal."
Ferguson's masterplan unravelled by Barça mastery
"United never gave up but by the end, despite [Sir Alex] Ferguson making changes, they were just another exhausted team feeding off scraps of possession and chasing shadows. As Michael Laudrup, the former Real Madrid and Barça striker now managing Real Mallorca, said earlier this season, 'we all know how to beat Barcelona, but actually doing it is different'."
Mundo Deportivo, Spain
"The game started just as it did in Rome, with United attacking and threatening Víctor Valdés's area, the goalkeeper needing to intervene on a couple of occasions. Once the first 15 minutes had passed, however, Barcelona started to find their rhythm and in the end the Red Devils were merely little angels in the hands of Josep Guardiola's side."
Manchester United true to their roots, but Barcelona run them ragged
"United had their limitations exposed, no question, but only in the context of a special phase in the game's history. Barcelona have engineered an evolutionary leap, adding defensive rigour to the fantasy element first instilled by the dream teams of Johan Cruyff. Like Real Madrid, Milan, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and the rest, United now face the daunting challenge of raising their game somewhere closer to Barcelona levels."
"Last night Barça joined the greats: the Madrid of [Alfredo] Di Stéfano, the Ajax of Cruyff, the Liverpool of [Bob] Paisley, the Bayern of [Franz] Beckenbauer and the Milan of [Arrigo] Sacchi. This side wouldn't be the same without the hand of Guardiola, but having Messi and Co on board certainly helps. The Argentinian was the decisive factor; he scored, passed and nutmegged everyone but [Sir Alex]. United's players were shaken as they watched him dodge and weave, while wondering who could stop him."
Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy
"Guardiola's boys dominated a match that we hoped was never going to end. They've beaten all the best teams on the pitch; from now on, their only challenge is against the past and the teams who built the history of football."
Barça, this is madness!
"Europe salutes FC Barcelona – the Spaniards comfortably won the UEFA Champions League final 3-1 against Manchester United to earn their fourth title. An outstanding performance, with a magical Lionel Messi."
Same story, same winners
"We said it loud and clear that this final between Barcelona and Manchester United would be the final of the decade, the perfect match. The 56th edition lived up its promise except that, without wanting to make too much of it, we witnessed a (good) replay of the Rome final two years ago. Same teams, almost the same story and the same winners. Barça once again proved themselves to be in a class of their own above United, who were better than in 2009 but finally still powerless."
The kings of Europe
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany
"Fast, faster, FC Barcelona: the Spaniards won a one-sided final 3-1 and earned the title for the third time in the last six years. Lionel Messi and Co well and truly outplayed Manchester United and could have won by even more goals."
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