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Barcelona 2 united 0

With the league sown up we went off to Rome with high expectations. United are world beaters, can take on anyone on their day and fans flocked to Italy to see what promised to be a great spectacle. Unfortunately, as you all well know, things on the pitch did not go to plan but it was still a great trip and marked the end of what was still a fantastic season.

I booked flights to Rome last September as they were refundable, and have been very chuffed with myself ever since that it paid off to do so. We flew out on the morning of the match bright and early, and got to the airport ahead of schedule. The terminal was busy due to 35 charters all landing pretty much all at once but we were lucky that they fast tracked our way out the airport as we were on Alitalia, and only heard later than others were held on their plans for upto 2 hours to avoid congestion at passport control. Before midday we had got the train into Rome, checked into our hotel and were out to enjoy the day.

After a long for around 30 of us who all met up, we headed off into the main squares to soak up the atmosphere. The Spanish Steps were full of Barca fans, each one fully decked out in colours with flags and scarves, singing their hearts out. Then we made our way to the Trevi Fountain and found the same thing- thousands of them in full song and it was fantastic to see. Reds could only applaud it and we all gave up trying to compete with it, instead getting our cameras out and recording them all. And that summed up the atmosphere in the city- full of football fans enjoying their day without a hint of trouble.

After enjoying the afternoon and only getting a little bit of sunburn, we jumped in a cab and headed to the ground. We knew not to trust the free shuttle buses on offer and it turned out we were right, as those who got them arrived an after us at the stadium! The first ticket corden was just to check people had a ticket and led into the fan zone. This was pretty rubbish and consisted of pumping music, a programme stall and some portaloos- hardly a great spectacle by the host city. So we gave up and went into the ground.  All UEFA’s statements on ID and microchips were complete nonsense- no one checked any passports and we went into the Curva Nord without any hassle.

The ground had been slightly improved since our last trip there, with new plastic seats installed and slightly better concourses. However, the best development was that the huge perspex barriers at the front had been removed meaning we did not have to watch the game through dirty scratched glass from our seats 15 rows back. The view was not bad despite the running track, and we all envisaged the players celebrating right in front of us should we win. It was still very hot out and it was not exactly like Manchester to be eating ice cream in a tshirt as an evening kick off approached! 

The atmosphere during the game was great and I am not sure why others have reported otherwise. Both sets of fans were loud and even during half time and as the final whistle approached the United fans sang we’ll never die and we love United repeatedly. The Barca fans were especially fantastic but United were honourable in applauding Barca off the pitch and giving Iniesta such a great applause when he was subbed off. What a player.

At the final whistle went we made our way out the ground, waiting first to applaud the United players. There were no signs, no directions and no way of finding the shuttle buses so we walked back towards town and eventually got on a bus back to the centre. Lucky we did not find the shuttle buses as those who did got back an hour after us! The mood was surprisingly upbeat considering the performance and result, with Reds more quick to praise Barca and be happy about the 18th title than criticise and complain.

Barca are a wonderful team, they deserved their victory and United’s players and fans lost with their heads held up high. There were no John Terry style tears and no brawls in the city after- just respect between fans who bought each other drinks in the worst enforced alcohol ban of all time. So well done Barca, and United will be back next year. What a great season overall full of wonderful memories and spectacular results. See you next season.  

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2 Comments

  1. louisa :: July 21st, 2009 11:32 am

    i honestley think fergy has does nothing this summer transfer. he got 80 million for ronaldo and didnt get any1? i think our best buy would be david villa our strikers arnt looking so good face it berba was a total flop last season and taking his word for i can show you what i really am is a joke. take a look at city for instance there out there they may not be getting alot of players but there putting good offers up! if we dont start spending we probs wont even finish and top 4!!!

  2. Oli :: July 31st, 2009 11:48 am

    Louisa, you are a moron. You cannot write in English and you know seemingly nothing about United. One match was lost, that is all, so to suggest we will not finish top 4 is laughable. Goodnight.

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