Good evening from a balmy FedEx Field, where the two most popular clubs in the world — an arguably the two best — will meet in a rematch of the Champions League final from just a few months ago.
It won't be the same, obviously. As Patrice Evra said, the “Champions League final is the Champions League final.” This is a friendly. Regardless, hosting these two teams with some of the world’s elite players is a treat for the D.C. area.
No Messi? No Chicharito? No worries. You get the splendid passing of Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta. The goal scoring prowess of Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov, Pedro and David Villa. The composed defending of Nemanja Vidic, Eric Abidal and Gerard Pique. That hardly even covers it.
So sit back, relax and enjoy the show. I’ll be live blogging here on Soccer Insider and will post a new blog for that forum before kickoff.
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
TV: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com
Barcelona Starting XI: Valdes; Fontas, Abidal, Alcantara, Keita; Busquets, Iniesta, dos Santos; Villa, Pedro, Afellay. Subs: Pinto, Masip, Balliu, Pique, Puyol, Xavi, Suarez, Riverola, Cabelino, Lozano, Muniesa, Carmona, Espinosa, Cuenca
Manchester United Starting XI: De Gea; Evra, Vidic, Evans, Rafael; Cleverly, Anderson, Young, Nani; Rooney, Welbeck. Subs: Lindegaard, Amos, Jones, Ferdinand, Smalling, Fabio, Obertan, Owen, Giggs, Carrick, Park, Diouf, Berbatov, Macheda
Lineups will be posted in about 10 minutes. I'll get those to you as soon as possible.