Champions League: Mascherano wary of Man Utd

2011 Uefa Champions League final: Manchester United v Barcelona

Venue:
Wembley Stadium, London
Date:
Saturday, 28 May
Kick-off:
1945 BST
Coverage:
Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live & BBC Sport website, live TV coverage on ITV1 and Sky Sports 1

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Focus Forum - Javier Mascherano

Javier Mascherano says there is nothing to choose between Barcelona and Manchester United ahead of Saturday's Champions League final at Wembley.

"In a final, there are no favourites," the Barcelona midfielder told Football Focus. "It is one game so it depends how the teams are on the day.

"We will try to do everything we can to win, in the 90 minutes, or 120 minutes.

"We don't know how long it will take but we have confidence in ourselves."

Manchester United and Spanish giants Barcelona won their domestic league titles this season and are both looking to capture Europe's top club prize for the fourth time.

United are also seeking revenge for their 2-0 defeat by a Lionel Messi-inspired Barcelona in the 2009 final in Rome.

Mascherano, who did battle with United on several occasions during his career with Liverpool, expects another tough encounter with Sir Alex Ferguson's team.

"They are a very good team, very strong," said the 26-year-old midfielder, who joined Barca in a £22m deal in August 2010.

"They have a fantastic manager. He has a lot of experience in Europe and in the Premier League.

"They are one of the biggest teams in the world. We have to be careful because they know how to play finals. It will be really, really difficult."

Mascherano, who was part of the Liverpool side that lost 2-1 to AC Milan in the 2007 Champions League final, is particularly wary of United forwards Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez, who have scored 35 goals between them this season.

"Rooney is one of the best strikers in the world," said Mascherano. "He is a key player for them.

"Hernandez is a very, very good player. I knew him when he was in Mexico but it was a big surprise when he came to England.

"He is having a fantastic season. We have to be careful with both of them because they are really good players and really dangerous."

Mascherano played in both legs of Barcelona's Champions League semi-final victory over arch-rivals Real Madrid. But he was used as a makeshift centre-back and now that French defender Eric Abidal is available again, the midfielder is likely to start Saturday's showpiece as a substitute.

"I don't know if I will play but it doesn't matter," said Mascherano, who began his career in England with West Ham. "The main thing is the team will be in the final and will do everything to try to win."