• Van der Sar, Desailly, Lehmann, Bobic and Sutter all think Barcelona will beat Juventus in Champions League final in Berlin
  • ‘Messi, Suarez and Neymar are the best attack in the world’ – says Laureus Academy Member and French World Cup winner Marcel Desailly
  • Swiss star Alain Sutter says: ‘If anyone can stop Barcelona it is Juve and Pirlo will be the key player, but I still believe Barcelona will win’

BERLIN, June 4, 2015 – Five great international football legends, all Laureus Academy Members and Ambassadors, are tipping FC Barcelona to win Saturday’s Champions League final. And they all think the winning margin will be two goals.

France’s Marcel Desailly, Holland’s Edwin van der Sar, Germany’s Fredi Bobic and Switzerland’s Alain Sutter predict the score in Berlin will be 3-1 for Barcelona against Juventus, while Germany’s Jens Lehmann opts for 2-0.

The match promises to be a classic as football superstars Neymar, Luis Suarez, Alvaro Morata, Paul Pogba and Lionel Messi, winner of four Ballon d’Or as World Footballer of the Year, will grace the pitch, while other big stars like Andrea Pirlo, Gianluigi Buffon and Xavi could be playing their last big final.

All Laureus legends agree that the arrival at FC Barcelona of Luis Suarez has been one of the most significant football events of the year.

France World Cup winner and Laureus Academy Member Marcel Desailly says: “Yes, he does make a difference. It means Messi has changed his role from front player to side player.” And Dutch star Edwin van der Sar, who played in goal for Manchester United, says “Suarez arrival has helped Messi to excel again”.

What the Laureus football legends say:

Marcel Desailly: “I do not think Juventus can beat this big team Barcelona. This season Messi has proved he is decisive for his team. The arrival of Luis Suarez has made a difference to Barcelona? I expect Alvaro Morata to be Juventus’ key player, he has proved that he is a really top class striker. But Messi, Suarez and Neymar are the best attack in the world.”

Former Germany and Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann: “Right now it looks like Messi, Suarez and Neymar are the best attacking force in the world. If I were coach of Juventus, I would try to break Barcelona’s rhythm. Juventus cannot rely on only one player. It has to be a team effort.”

Edwin van der Sar: “I played twice against Barcelona in finals and from experience this is not an easy job, but with the determination which Juve is famous for, they must try to keep them out. As you saw against Real Madrid in the semi-final, they have a quick counter-attack with Teves, Pogba and Vidal. I hope my friend Patrice Evra will be their key player.”

Former Germany and Stuttgart striker Fredi Bobic: “Barcelona will win because of Messi, Neymar and Suarez. The best attacking trio in modern football. I have never seen a trio like this in the past ten years. Messi is still the best player in the world. Nobody can’t stop him. He is also a very good team player. The defensive players in Juve have a lot of experience. The problem for them will be to stop all three .I think it is possible to control one or two of the fabulous trio, but not all three of them. Anything can happen in one game like injuries or red cards, so you always a chance. But Pirlo has to play a monster game to control the midfield.”

Former Swiss and Zurich Grasshoppers midfielder Alain Sutter agrees that Andrea Pirlo will be a key figure if Juventus are to win. “Juventus have to make forward pressure right from the beginning. If anyone can stop Barcelona it is Juve and Pirlo will be the key player. But I believe Barcelona will win. Why? There is three answers: Messi, Neymar and Suarez.The arrival of Suarez made a big difference for Barcelona! Barca is better now. All together they are definitely the best attack in the world.”

The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in Spain, in a new fundraising initiative teamed up with charity organisation MyCausa to give a lucky football fan the chance to win two tickets for the match. A €20 fee gave the chance to enter a draw for the tickets and at the same time raise funds for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.


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Laureus is a universal movement that celebrates the power of sport to bring people together as a force for good. Laureus is composed of three core elements - the Laureus World Sports Academy, Laureus Sport for Good and the Laureus World Sports Awards - which collectively celebrate sporting excellence and use sport as the means to promote social change. The first Patron of Laureus was Nelson Mandela. At the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, he said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.” This has become the philosophy of Laureus; the driving force behind its work. The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy are: Giacomo Agostini, Marcus Allen, Franz Beckenbauer, Boris Becker, Ian Botham, Sergey Bubka, Cafu, Bobby Charlton, Sebastian Coe, Nadia Comaneci, Yaping Deng, Marcel Desailly, Kapil Dev, Mick Doohan, David Douillet, Rahul Dravid, Luis Figo, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sean Fitzpatrick (Chairman), Dawn Fraser, Cathy Freeman, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Mika Häkkinen, Tony Hawk, Maria Höfl-Riesch, Mike Horn, Miguel Indurain, Michael Johnson, Kip Keino, Franz Klammer, Tegla Loroupe, Dan Marino, Yao Ming, Edwin Moses, Nawal El Moutawakel, Li Na, Robby Naish, Ilie Nastase, Martina Navratilova, Alexey Nemov, Jack Nicklaus, Brian O’Driscoll, Alessandro Del Piero, Gary Player, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Carles Puyol, Raúl, Steve Redgrave, Vivian Richards, Monica Seles, Mark Spitz, Sachin Tendulkar, Daley Thompson, Alberto Tomba, Steve Waugh, Katarina Witt, Li Xiaopeng and Yang Yang. The Laureus Academy Members volunteer their services as global ambassadors for Laureus Sport for Good, which was set up to promote the use of sport as a tool for social change. Laureus Sport for Good addresses social challenges through a worldwide programme of sports related community development initiatives. Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €100 million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of millions of young people. The mission of Laureus Sport for Good is to use sport as a means to combat some of the toughest social challenges facing young people today such as violence and crime, discrimination, unemployment, lack of education and health threats including HIV/AIDS and obesity. The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier global sports awards honouring the greatest sportsmen and women across all sports each year. The winners are selected by the ultimate sports jury – 60 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, the living legends of sport honouring the great athletes of today. The Awards are presented at an annual Awards Ceremony, attended by global figures from sport and entertainment, which is broadcast to 160 countries and territories. The Awards continue to support Laureus Sport for Good by showcasing the incredible work it does with athletes and partners to transform the lives of individuals and promoting to a global audience the power of sport as a development tool to combat challenging social issues. Laureus was founded by its Patrons Richemont and Daimler and is supported by its Global Partners Mercedes-Benz and IWC Schaffhausen. Mercedes-BenzMercedes-Benz is the inventor of the automobile – and has been passionately shaping its future since 1886. As pioneers in automotive engineering, it is both our inspiration and responsibility to continue the tradition of the brand with trailblazing technologies and high-quality products. Like no other trademark in the automotive world, Mercedes-Benz appeals to both the hearts and minds of its customers. We give our very best for customers who expect the very best. Since the founding fathers Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, our corporate history has been one of innovation and pioneering achievements. Many technical innovations that are nowadays standard in automobiles first entered the market in a Mercedes-Benz. This is the basis for our claim to leadership in automotive engineering. The brand stands for Modern Luxury, and enjoys an outstanding reputation for quality, safety, comfort, design and comprehensive, sustainable mobility. IWC SchaffhausenWith a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world’s leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC crafts masterpieces of haute horlogerie at their finest, combining supreme precision with exclusive design. As an ecologically and socially responsible company, IWC is committed to sustainable production, supports institutions around the globe in their work with children and young people and maintains partnerships with organisations dedicated to climate and environmental protection.