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Barcelona beats Manchester United 3-1 in UEFA Champions League final | Soccer

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hatien


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LONDON — Barcelona of Spain belongs on the list of all-time greatest teams.

Led by a dominant performance from Lionel Messi, Barcelona beat Manchester United of England 3-1 Saturday at Wembley Stadium to earn its third UEFA Champions League title in six seasons and fourth title overall.

"I feel privileged," Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola said. "You always want to win, but the way we have won is what I am most proud of. This is the way we want to play football.

"Lionel is the best player I have seen and probably the best I will ever see."

Messi, who scored a goal and created another, said, "We were the better team. We deserved to win."

Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0 in the 2009 Champions League final in Rome.

"When Rome finished, I thought we had played a good game, but when I looked at it again I wasn't that impressed," Guardiola said. "But it has served its purpose. I think we played much better than the game two years ago."

The only teams with more European championships than Barcelona are Real Madrid of Spain (nine), AC Milan of Italy (seven) and Liverpool of England (five). Bayern Munich of Germany and Ajax of the Netherlands each have four European titles.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney tied the score with a goal in the 34th minute but Messi put Barcelona ahead to stay by scoring in the 54th minute.

"They do mesmerize you with their passing and we never really did control Messi," 69-year-old United manager Alex Ferguson said. "But many people have said that. In my time as manager, it's the best team I've faced."

Notes

• Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar withdrew from FIFA's presidential election, seemingly clearing the path for Sepp Blatter of Switzerland to continue his reign as head of world soccer's governing body.

Bin Hammam announced his withdrawal before a FIFA ethics hearing, during which he is expected to answer accusations he had arranged bribes for up to 25 presidential voters on a campaign visit to the Caribbean.

• League-leading Los Angeles beat host New England 1-0 in Major League Soccer as Miguel Lopez headed in David Beckham's cross in the 69th minute. The Galaxy has won four in a row.

In other MLS matches, visiting Philadelphia outscored Toronto 6-2; host Vancouver and New York played to a 1-1 draw; Chivas USA got a 3-3 tie in Columbus; FC Dallas tied host Houston 2-2; Sporting Kansas City got a 1-1 draw at Colorado; and San Jose and host Chicago played to a 2-2 tie.

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