Man United ready for Barcelona showdown after ‘perfect’ prep

Defender John O'Shea insists Red Devils have not been distracted by media coverage surrounding Ryan Giggs

By Rajvir Rai
john o'shea
O'Shea insists United are fully focused ahead of Saturday's clash Photo: via Wikipedia - G Flood

john o'shea

Manchester United’s preparations for Saturday’s Champions League final against Barcelona have been “perfect” – despite the furore surrounding Ryan Giggs’ private life.

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John O’Shea says the Premier League champions are fully focused ahead of the game and insists they have not been distracted after the Welsh winger was identified in Parliament as the married footballer named on Twitter as having an injunction over an alleged affair with a reality TV star.

He said: “It has been perfect, the build-up has gone to plan and hopefully we will get to Saturday as we are now – well rested and well prepared.”

Speaking at Manchester United’s media day on Tuesday, the defender ignored questions about the mental state of Giggs -who missed training yesterday but later played in former teammate Gary Neville’s testimonial at Old Trafford -preferring instead to focus on the week ahead.

“Being involved in weeks like this is what being a Manchester United player is all about. It is a fantastic week,” continued O’Shea.

“We have got experience of preparing for these weeks over the last few years. It has been three European cup finals now in last four years, but we definitely don’t want to experience that losing feeling we had in Rome [where United lost 2-0 to Barcelona], so hopefully we have the same feeling as in Moscow [when United beat Chelsea on penalties].”

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson yesterday insisted his side can contain Lionel Messi, and O’Shea is well aware of the threat that the Argentine poses, but insists Barcelona are not a one-man team.

“Messi has been an amazing talent and he has showed it again this season with the amount of goals he has scored,” said O’Shea.

“We are definitely well aware that he is one of the major attacking talents for them, but they have also got lots of other players we need to keep an eye on.”

He added: “We have looked at the tapes from when we beat Barcelona at Old Trafford and from when we lost in Rome, but you have to kind of move on from that as well.

“We have also got a lot of analysis from Barcelona from this season too and how certain teams have approached the game, and we will be hoping that the plan that we have in place will come to fruition on Saturday.”

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