Saturday night saw the European season come to a thrilling close when English champions Manchester United played Spanish champions Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League Final at Wembley.
Edwin van Der Sar had already waved goodbye to the Premier League last weekend but brought the curtain down on a wonderful career on Saturday. Unfortunately for the big Dutchman he didn’t sign off with a second European medal. van Der Sar played his final game in the new Adidas AdiPower Predators.
With Carlos Puyol injured, Barcelona’s captain’s armband was worn by Xavi. Xavi put in another outstanding performance as he and Spain teammate Iniesta ran Barcelona’s midfield. Xavi wore the new AdiPower Predator’s lead Blue/Electricity/Black colourway.
Manchester United’s Brazilian midfielder Anderson was also in the soon to be released AdiPower Predators. Anderson didn’t get an opportunity to run out at Wembley but was picked on the bench.
Paul Scholes sat alongside Anderson on the bench but was called upon by Sir Alex with United trailing 3-1. An announcement is expected in the next few weeks as to whether Saturday was Scholes’ last game as the England midfielder contemplates retirement. Scholes came off the bench in a pair of Challenge Red/White/Dark Shadow Nike T90 Laser III boots despite warming up in a pair of the White/Black/Chlorine Blue colourway (above).
Nemanja Vidic was lifting the Premier League trophy last weekend but the United captain had to lead his side up the Wembley steps to collect the runners up medal this weekend. Vidic and Ferdinand both put in great performances, despite their goal being under siege for most of the second half. Vidic wore Puma’s classy looking White/Black/Snorkel Blue PowerCat 1.1 boots.
Eric Abidal recently returned from having a tumor removed from his liver. The French defender’s fight against illness was honored by Barcelona when he was handed the captain’s armband after the game. Abidal therefore lead his teammates up the Wembley steps and lifted the Champions League trophy. Abidal wore Nike’s Team Red/Metallic Silver Tiempo Legend III boots.
Javier Hernandez has surprised everyone with his outstanding performances this season. The young Mexican has become Fergie’s first choice partner for Wayne Rooney and was once again paired up with him for the Champions League Final. Hernandez has been in White Nike Tiempo Legend III boots since arriving at Old Trafford and wore the White/Volt/Black colourway on Saturday.
Adidas are one of the Champions League’s main sponsors and often use the competition to unveil new boots and apparel. We expected the AdiPower Predator to debut in the Final but they arrived a few weeks earlier. Adidas did however debut their new Anodized Purple/Electricity/Infrared and Electricity/ Anodized Purple/Infrared AdiZero colourways – and in the end it was the eye-catching boots that made the difference.
Dani Alves wore the new Anodized Purple/Electricity/Infrared AdiZero Prime colourway. The Brazilian fullback tore up and down the right flank and put in a great performance for the Catalan club.
David Villa was on the score sheet for Barcelona in his leather version of the Anodized Purple/Electricity/Infrared AdiZero boots. The Spanish midfielder scored the third goal of the game to kill off any chance of a comeback from United.
The night once again belonged to Lionel Messi. The Argentinean maestro was mesmerizing for Barcelona and always looked a threat. His 54th minute strike was a brilliant long range drive off his favored left foot and set Barcelona on their way to a resounding victory. Messi wore the new Electricity/ Anodized Purple/Infrared colourway which he will have exclusivity of in La Liga.