|Event||2008-09 UEFA Champions League|
|Date||27 May 2009|
|Venue||Stadio Olimpico, Rome|
|UEFA Man of the Match||Xavi (Barcelona)|
|Fans' Man of the Match||Lionel Messi (Barcelona)|
|Referee||Massimo Busacca (Switzerland)|
The 2009 UEFA Champions League Final was played on 27 May 2009 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy. The match determined the winners of the 2008-09 season of the UEFA Champions League, a tournament for the top football clubs in Europe. The match was won by Barcelona of Spain, who beat England's Manchester United 2-0. Samuel Eto'o opened the scoring in the 10th minute, and Lionel Messi added another goal 20 minutes from the end to earn Barcelona an historic treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League, a feat never before achieved by a Spanish club.
Manchester United and Barcelona had previously faced each other nine times in European competitions: three times in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and six times in the UEFA Champions League. Of those nine matches, Manchester United had recorded three wins to Barcelona's two, with the remaining four matches finishing in draws. The only time that the two teams met in a final came in 1991, when they contested the 1991 Cup Winners' Cup final. The first meeting between the two sides came in the third round of the 1983-84 Cup Winners' Cup; Barcelona won the first leg at the Camp Nou 2-0, but Manchester United won the return leg 3-0 at Old Trafford to reach the semi-finals. That result marked Manchester United's biggest win over Barcelona; Barcelona's biggest win was a 4-0 home victory in the group stage of the 1994-95 Champions League. The most recent meeting between the teams came in the semi-finals of the 2007-08 Champions League, when United held Barcelona to a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou before beating them 1-0 at Old Trafford.
Both teams went into the match as the champions of their respective countries - the first time that the final had been contested by domestic champions since 1999, when Manchester United beat Bayern Munich 2-1 at Barcelona's home, the Camp Nou - both winning with games to spare. Manchester United won their 11th Premier League title with a 0-0 draw at home to Arsenal on 16 May, while Barcelona were confirmed as La Liga champions for the first time in three years when Real Madrid lost to Villarreal on the same day. Both Manchester United and Barcelona were also looking for another Champions League title to cap a season in which they had won multiple trophies: Manchester United had already won four out of a possible seven trophies in 2008-09 and were playing for the possibility of becoming the third team to retain the European Double (the domestic league and the European Cup), while Barcelona were aiming to become the first Spanish club to win a Treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League.
The Stadio Olimpico in Rome had hosted three European Cup finals before 2009: the 1977 and 1984 finals, both of which were won by Liverpool - Liverpool beat Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1 in 1977 before beating home side Roma 4-2 on penalties after the match finished 1-1 after extra time; the most recent final to be held at the Stadio Olimpico was the 1996 final, which Juventus also won 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Ajax.
The construction of the stadium was commissioned by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in the mid-1930s as the centrepiece of a new sports complex in the city, to be named Foro Mussolini. After the Second World War, the complex was renamed Foro Italico and the stadium was radically redesigned as a 54,000-capacity arena for the 1960 Summer Olympics. After hosting the 1987 World Athletics Championships, the stadium was redeveloped in time for the 1990 FIFA World Cup, at which West Germany's 1-0 win over Argentina in the final was played there. The stadium's most recent renovation, in 2008, increased its capacity to 72,689.
Road to Rome
|Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg||Qualifying phase||Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Wisła Kraków||4–1||4–0 (H)||0–1 (A)||Third qualifying round||Bye|
|Sporting CP||3–1 (H)||Matchday 1||Villarreal||0–0 (H)|
|Shakhtar Donetsk||2–1 (A)||Matchday 2||Aalborg BK||3–0 (A)|
|Basel||5–0 (A)||Matchday 3||Celtic||3–0 (H)|
|Basel||1–1 (H)||Matchday 4||Celtic||1–1 (A)|
|Sporting CP||5–2 (A)||Matchday 5||Villarreal||0–0 (A)|
|Shakhtar Donetsk||2–3 (H)||Matchday 6||Aalborg BK||2–2 (H)|
|Group C winner
|Final standings||Group E winner
|Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg||Knockout phase||Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Lyon||6–3||1–1 (A)||5–2 (H)||First knockout round||Internazionale||2–0||0–0 (A)||2–0 (H)|
|Bayern Munich||5–1||4–0 (H)||1–1 (A)||Quarter-finals||Porto||3–2||2–2 (H)||1–0 (A)|
|Chelsea||1–1 (a)||0–0 (H)||1–1 (A)||Semi-finals||Arsenal||4–1||1–0 (H)||3–1 (A)|
By virtue of their third-place finish in the 2007–08 Primera División, Barcelona entered the 2008–09 Champions League at the third qualifying round. Based on their UEFA coefficient, Barcelona were seeded for the third qualifying round draw, and drawn against Polish champions Wisła Kraków. A 4–0 win in the first leg at the Camp Nou made defeat in the second leg immaterial and Barcelona were entered into the group stage draw.
Barcelona's UEFA coefficient placed them in the top eight seeds for the draw, meaning that they would avoid having to play against Internazionale, Liverpool, Chelsea or holders and their semi-final opponents from 2007–08, Manchester United. However, they could still draw Bayern Munich, Roma or Juventus. In the end, Barcelona were drawn into Group C against Sporting CP, Basel and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Four wins and a draw at home to Basel placed Barcelona on top of their group with a game to spare, and despite defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk on Matchday 6, they still had the third-best record amongst the qualifiers for the first knockout round. As group winners, Barcelona would avoid being drawn with other group winners, including Manchester United, Liverpool, Juventus and Bayern Munich, but they could still be drawn against runners-up such as Chelsea, Internazionale and Arsenal. The draw eventually paired them with Olympique Lyonnais and, as group winners, they were given the right to play the second leg at home.
In the first leg in Lyon, Barcelona fell behind to a seventh-minute free kick from Juninho, only for Thierry Henry to equalise halfway through the second half, giving Barcelona an away goal to take back to the Camp Nou. They needed a win or a no-score draw to guarantee passage, but a 4–1 half-time lead set the stage for a convincing 5–2 win. Two first-half goals from Henry and one each from Lionel Messi and Samuel Eto'o were followed by goals from Jean Makoun and Juninho either side of the interval to reduce Lyon's deficit. However, a goal from Seydou Keita in the fifth minute of injury time secured a 6–3 aggregate win and passage to the next round.
In the quarter-finals, Barcelona were drawn against their fellow leading-scorers in the competition, Bayern Munich, who had beaten Barcelona's group stage opposition, Sporting CP, 12–1 on aggregate in the previous round. However, despite Bayern's impressive scoring record, goals from Messi and Eto'o gave Barcelona a 2–0 lead within the first 12 minutes. Messi and Henry also scored to seal a 4–0 home victory before half-time. The lack of an away goal meant that Bayern Munich would have to win by five clear goals to qualify for the semi-finals; after a goalless first half, they took the lead through Franck Ribéry in the 47th minute, but it was not enough for Bayern as Keita equalised in the 73rd minute to clinch a 5–1 aggregate win for the Spanish side.
The quarter-final draw also determined the teams' routes to the final, with Barcelona facing the prospect of meeting either Chelsea or Liverpool in the semi-finals. After a 3–1 win at Anfield, Chelsea qualified for the semi-finals with a 4–4 draw at Stamford Bridge. The semi-final first leg was played at the Camp Nou; although Barcelona enjoyed the majority of the possession, Chelsea's defence was resolute and they became the first side to keep a clean sheet in Barcelona in this season's competition, coming away with a goalless draw. Barcelona needed to avoid defeat to reach the final, but they found themselves a goal down within 10 minutes; after they failed to clear Frank Lampard's pass into the penalty area, Michael Essien fired a left-footed volley past Víctor Valdés into the roof of the net. The rest of the match continued much the same as the first leg, with Barcelona retaining most of the possession. Despite this, they found themselves guilty of several fouls, while Chelsea made four unsuccessful penalty appeals during the match. Meanwhile, Dani Alves received his third yellow card of the knockout phase, ruling him out of Barcelona's next match, and Éric Abidal was given a straight red card for a foul on Nicolas Anelka as the French forward was through on goal. However, television replays after the incident showed that there was little contact between Abidal and Anelka. Norwegian referee Tom Henning Øvrebø allowed a minimum of four minutes of injury time at the end of the second half; in the third of those four minutes – just when it looked like Chelsea were about to secure a repeat of the 2008 final – Messi played the ball across the edge of the penalty area to Andrés Iniesta, who shot just past Petr Čech's outstretched hand for the away goal that would send Barcelona to the final.
As the reigning champions of the UEFA Champions League, Manchester United began their title defence at the group stage, for which they were given the top seed. This position amongst the top eight European clubs meant that they would avoid drawing former European champions Barcelona, Internazionale and Real Madrid until at least the first knockout round, although they were faced with the prospect of drawing Bayern Munich or Roma. Nevertheless, United ended up being drawn into Group E with two teams they had played against before: Villarreal (whom they had drawn in 2005–06) and Celtic (2006–07); and one they had not: Aalborg BK.
Two victories – away to Aalborg and at home to Celtic – and four draws were enough to secure passage to the knockout phase of the competition. Following a Celtic victory over Villarreal in the final group match, United went through as group winners. This meant that they would avoid Roma, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Porto and Juventus in the first knockout round; however, their potential opposition still included Internazionale, Lyon and Real Madrid. The draw paired Manchester United with José Mourinho's Internazionale, but since United had won their group, they were rewarded by having the second leg at home.
United started the first leg the better of the two sides, and although Inter improved in the second half, neither side was able to find the net during the match, and United took a 0–0 draw back to Old Trafford. The draw was also United's 20th match since their last defeat in the UEFA Champions League, breaking Ajax's 19-match record that had stood for 13 years. The lack of an away goal at the San Siro meant that United could not afford to concede a goal in the event of a draw. A fourth-minute headed goal from Nemanja Vidić, however, got the home side off to a good start, and Cristiano Ronaldo doubled United's lead four minutes into the second half. Shots from both Zlatan Ibrahimović and Adriano hit the frame of the Manchester United goal in either half of the match, but they were unable to find the back of the net, and the 2–0 result sent the English champions through to the next stage of the competition.
The draw for the quarter-finals paired United with Porto, against whom they had played in the first knockout round of the 2003–04 competition. The draw also determined the semi-final pairings, with United or Porto drawn to play against Arsenal or Villarreal. The first leg of the quarter-final was played at Old Trafford, giving Porto the chance to put the pressure on Manchester United with an away goal. That away goal came in the fourth minute of the game, but Wayne Rooney equalised ten minutes later and Carlos Tevez gave United the lead in the 85th minute. However, with only one minute left in the game, United suffered a defensive lapse, allowing Mariano González to score Porto's second away goal. Those away goals meant that United travelled to the Estádio do Dragão in Porto needing a win or a score-draw of 2–2 or higher to remain in the competition. A 40-yard goal from Ronaldo in the sixth minute put United into the lead, and although both sides pressed for another goal, it proved to be the only one of the game, making Manchester United the first English side to win in Porto.
Meanwhile, a 1–1 draw in Villarreal and a 3–0 win at the Emirates Stadium secured Arsenal's status as United's semi-final opponents. The draw had determined that United would play the first leg at home, and after Rooney, Tevez and Ronaldo had early chances, John O'Shea opened the scoring, firing home a Michael Carrick cross after Arsenal had failed to clear a corner. United continued to make chances throughout the game, but despite Arsenal making a couple of chances themselves, the match finished at 1–0 and United travelled to the Emirates Stadium a week later needing only to avoid defeat to become the first defending champions to reach the final since Juventus in 1997. Although Arsenal only needed to overturn a one-goal deficit, their chances of victory were drastically reduced within the first 11 minutes of the match; Park Ji-sung took advantage of a slip by Kieran Gibbs to double United's aggregate lead in the eighth minute, before Ronaldo fired home a 41-yard free kick in the 11th. With two away goals on the United scoreboard, Arsenal now had to score four goals to reach the final. However, it was United who scored the next goal, as they hit Arsenal on the break and Ronaldo scored within 15 seconds of Arsenal losing the ball at the other end of the pitch. 15 minutes from time, Arsenal were awarded a penalty kick after Darren Fletcher brought Cesc Fàbregas down in the penalty area, a foul for which Fletcher was sent off – although replays showed that Fletcher knocked the ball away from Fàbregas immediately before bringing him down, resulting in some controversy as to whether Fletcher deserved a red card for the foul. Robin van Persie scored the penalty to make the score 3–1, but it was not enough to prevent United from reaching the final unbeaten for the third time in their history.
| 27 May 2009|
|Barcelona||2 – 0||Man Utd|| Stadio Olimpico, Rome|
Referee: Massimo Busacca (Switzerland)
| Eto'o 10'|
Both teams received significant financial rewards for reaching the Champions League final. However, despite losing the match, it was Manchester United who earned the most money from their 2008–09 Champions League campaign, receiving €38.281 million compared to Barcelona's €30.968 million. All 32 teams in the group stage of the competition received €3 million for taking part in the competition and €2.4 million for their participation in the group stage matches, as well as further bonuses based on their performances in each match (€600,000 for each win and €300,000 for each draw). For their four wins and one draw, Barcelona received a performance bonus of €2.7 million, while Manchester United earned €2.4 million for their two wins and four draws. Both teams then also received a total of €7.7 million for their participation in the rounds leading up to the final; however, Barcelona received a win bonus of €7 million for winning the final, while Manchester United received €4 million for finishing as runners-up. The biggest difference between the teams' financial rewards came as a result of their share of the market pool, based on the value of the television market in their home countries. As the most successful of the English teams in the competition, Manchester United received the greatest share (€18.781 million) of approximately €55.5 million reserved for the English teams. However, although Barcelona were the most successful of the Spanish teams in the competition, they had finished in third place in La Liga the previous season, and so received the second-smallest share of the €33.8 million given to the four Spanish clubs, taking home €8.168 million.
In addition to receiving almost €31 million in prize money, as winners of the UEFA Champions League, Barcelona competed in the 2009 UEFA Super Cup, in which they beat 2008-09 UEFA Cup winners Shakhtar Donetsk 1–0 at Stade Louis II in Monaco on 28 August 2009, and in the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, where they beat Estudiantes of Argentina in the final.
- First half
|Shots on target||1||1|
- Second half
|Shots on target||7||1|
|Shots on target||8||2|
- Official site (Archived)