No dream final but Salgado satisfied

Michel Salgado was hoping to meet Manchester United FC in the final but is just happy to be there.

Michel Salgado, the Real Madrid CF full-back, had been hoping for a meeting with Manchester United FC in Wednesday's UEFA Champions League final but is just happy to be there.

Dream final
Bayer 04 Leverkusen knocked out the Old Trafford club in the semi-final to end Salgado's dream and set up a Spanish-German affair in Glasgow instead. "It is something personal and I would prefer Manchester because I had the illusion of playing against them," he said. "It doesn't matter because Manchester and Bayer Leverkusen are two big teams and the difficulty is going to be the same."

One error could lose the cup
On the subject of Madrid being favourites for the final, Salgado suggested it was too close to call despite Leverkusen's inexperience. "Leverkusen is not so familiar with this kind of match as Real Madrid but when the match begins the only target is to demonstrate which team is better that night," he said. "We will play to the limit but any error can represent losing the final.

‘German teams are colder’
"Valencia CF," continued Salgado, "paid a high price for their inexperience [in the 2000 final which Real won 3-0], but German teams are colder in these situations. For both teams it is the match of the year."

‘Stadium is wonderful’
Salgado is not only looking forward to the match, but the stadium it is being playing in. "Hampden Park is the ideal stadium to become European champion," he said. "To play a European final is always something very special. It will be my second experience and the only thing I can say is that Glasgow stadium is wonderful and the pitch is ideal to become Champions. The only problem is that the attendance is not enough to cover all the needs of our supporters so they must stay in Madrid while they could be here."