Champions League: Ryan Giggs plays in Gary Neville testimonial

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
Ryan Giggs and David Beckham
Giggs teamed up with Beckham again at Old Trafford

Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs featured in Gary Neville's testimonial ahead of Saturday's Champions League final against Barcelona.

Giggs has been identified in Parliament as the married footballer named on Twitter as having an injunction over an alleged affair with a reality TV star.

The 37-year-old, who had earlier missed training, set up Wayne Rooney for the opener in a 30-minute cameo.

But goals from Simone Pepe and Manuel Giandonato gave Juventus a 2-1 win.

Giggs was joined at Old Trafford by former United favourites David Beckham, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville, all products of the club's famous "class of '92".

Gary Neville
Neville received a standing ovation at Old Trafford

Beckham was given permission to miss LA Galaxy's game against Houston Dynamo to play in the testimonial for his best man, and played at right-back for much of the match with Neville in front of him - a reversal of their successful partnership for club and country.

The intense media spotlight meant that Giggs was the most high-profile absentee from the training session ahead of the testimonial, but defender Rafael, midfielder Paul Scholes, goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar and striker Dimitar Berbatov were also on the sidelines

However, along with Giggs, Scholes - another graduate of the "class of 92" - and Rafael both played in Neville's testimonial, with Rooney, Anderson, John O'Shea and Michael Owen also among the players to get a run-out against Juve, ahead of Saturday's final.

But the doubts over midfielder Darren Fletcher's involvement at Wembley intensified, with the Scot sitting out the match at Old Trafford.

"The most important thing was that the lads got through it without getting injured," said Neville.

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Barca better now than in '09 - Ferguson

"I enjoyed it, I wish we had won the game but that wasn't meant to be.

"The key thing for this club now is to go and win that trophy on Saturday," said Neville.

Giggs' involvement came at the end of another day in which he stayed in the headlines for reasons other than football.

When asked about Giggs' importance to United earlier on Tuesday in a media day organised by Uefa, manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: "All the players are important to us."

Ferguson subsequently tried to have the journalist banned from United's final pre-match media day on Friday.

But he did have more to say to other questions concerning the match.

United were beaten 2-0 the last time they met Barcelona in European football's top club competition - the 2009 Champions League final - but Ferguson preferred to reflect on their two-legged semi-final from 2008, when his side kept clean sheets in both matches on their way to a 1-0 aggregate win.

"We showed fantastic concentration in those two ties," said Ferguson, whose side went on to beat Chelsea on penalties in the final.

"That is the key for us. It is an important issue in terms of Saturday."

Ferguson also acknowledged the threat of Barcelona's diminutive striker Lionel Messi, who has scored 52 goals this season and netted Barca's second in the 2009 final.

"We have played against Barcelona three times with Messi in the team," the Scot continued.

"But there is always a solution to every good player. Hopefully we can find one on Saturday.

"They have other good players though, and so do we. That is why it is such an appealing game."