FOOTBALL LEGENDS PICK BARCELONA AS CHAMPIONS LEAGUE WINNERS – BY TWO GOALS

  • 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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