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Hiddink, Trapattoni and Bento on Barça v United

Coaches' view: Former European Champion Clubs' Cup winners Giovanni Trapattoni and Guus Hiddink join Paulo Bento in giving their thoughts on the Wembley showpiece.

Guus Hiddink takes stock during Chelsea's 2009 semi-final defeat by Josep Guardiola's Barcelona
Guus Hiddink takes stock during Chelsea's 2009 semi-final defeat by Josep Guardiola's Barcelona ©Getty Images

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.

Like Josep Guardiola, Giovanni Trapattoni has membership of that exclusive club of six men who have won the European Champion Clubs' Cup as both player and coach – indeed he triumphed at Wembley with AC Milan in 1963 before later leading Juventus to the title in 1985. Two years after that it was Guus Hiddink's turn to hold the trophy aloft after his victory with PSV Eindhoven. Paulo Bento has not had that privilege but he faced Manchester United in his first European game as coach of Sporting Clube de Portugal in 2007/08 and took on Barcelona in the following season.

Giovanni Trapattoni, Republic of Ireland coach
It is a final featuring the two best teams in Europe. From a technical point of view, the two are different – a very strong Anglo-Saxon team against a Barcelona team rich in imagination and brilliant technique. Manchester United have that special English character; they're used to very skilful but also tough battles. Barcelona, on the other hand, play a beautiful game and I think if Barcelona get to play their football, they will win the title, although experience tells me that in 90 minutes like this, anything can happen.

The differences between wining and losing at such a high level can be the smallest mistake, or the slightest lapse of concentration. It will be important for the teams to have the right approach. This depends on whether you have confidence in your own ability or if you are scared of making mistakes.

Sir Alex is the same age as me and has won the lot. He is used to this kind of match, so he has the experience, and that is very important. He knows about the character and mentality of his players also. On the other hand we have Pep, who is a young, up-and-coming coach. He lacks that experience, but has great quality in his team and he doesn't get nervous.

Guus Hiddink, Turkey coach
Both teams try to get results but they do it by with a combination of style and attack-orientated football. They do it successfully due to the basic organisation in their teams. Both Barcelona and Manchester United try to play football that fans like to watch. An exciting and vibrant final awaits us.

Paulo Bento, Portugal coach
One of the key factors could be Sir Alex Ferguson's planning for this match, and Manchester United's tactical strategy to deal with the Barcelona – who should play in their usual style.

The success of both coaches in the competition is evidence that age is not key to success. The most important factors – and this is no secret – are competence and leadership qualities. Each man has his own style and of course there are differences between the playing models used by each of them but it always depends on the players they have. Both coaches have been very successful in getting the very best out of the group of players they have to work with – players who were also chosen by them.

Barcelona have had a defined style for a long time and every player knows it very well. They know exactly their team-mates' movements and the options they have at different moments in a match. This is essential to the flow of their attacking game and also to their defensive consistency and competence. United also have stability. They have kept key players in different areas, which has given them great consistency.

It is a pity there were no Portuguese teams in the final stages of the competition but they made up for it with an amazing season in the UEFA Europa League, with three teams in the semi-finals.

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