The Washington Post

Barcelona vs. Manchester United: the stars come out

Barcelona forward David Villa, middle, takes a shot in a friendly match earlier this week. Villa scored five goals in the World Cup last year. (NIKOLA SOLIC/REUTERS)

Manchester United and Barcelona won’t have their full rosters available for Saturday night’s game at FedEx Field. But there still will be a number of great players taking part.

Manchester United

Wayne Rooney: Despite a tumultuous 2010, the English striker remains one of the most dangerous finishers in the world when he is in form. A physical threat for any defense, Rooney will draw the focus of the Barcelona back line.

Nemanja Vidic: A hulking, physical center back, the Serbian earned the club’s player of the year award last season and has established himself as one of the world’s top defenders. A major presence in the air, Vidic is the rock in United’s back line.

Nani: An incredibly skillful winger who loves a little trickery, the Portuguese international can change the game with his quickness, service and one-on-one ability. Nani netted nine goals and 14 assists in league play last season.


Xavi Hernandez: To quantify the Spanish midfielder’s production in stats would not be doing justice to his impact. Hernandez sets the tone in the midfield and personifies the possession mentality and quick-thinking, passing game that has made Barcelona so successful. He is the heart of the midfield.

Andres Iniesta: Perhaps the world’s most proficient passer, Iniesta’s simple play can result in brilliant moments. Statistics kept on passes attempted and completed often highlight how efficient he can be on the ball, and at least once a game Iniesta’s passes find a lane that exploit a weakness unseen by anyone else.

David Villa: While Lionel Messi draws the most attention at forward — and rightfully so — Villa has to be considered one of the world’s most clutch forwards. He scored 23 goals for Barcelona in all competitions last season and another 11 for Spain, including five in the World Cup.

— Paul Tenorio


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