It has been 10 years since Barcelona seemingly changed European football forever with a stunning 2-0 Champions League final win over holders Manchester United.

Samuel Eto'o opened the scoring early on and Lionel Messi's 70th-minute header clinched a second Blaugrana triumph in four seasons.

This side were very different to the 2005-06 vintage, though, with new coach Pep Guardiola dictating an incredible passing style that quickly became the envy of their rivals.

"They get you on that carousel and can leave you dizzy."

That was Alex Ferguson's description of Barca's approach and here we take a look at the 11 starters who subjected United to that punishment in Rome - part of a historic treble.

 

VICTOR VALDES

Goalkeeper Valdes was perhaps not always given the credit he deserved for his ability as a shot-stopper - there were a couple of brave blocks from Cristiano Ronaldo in the final - but there was no doubting his reputation as a pioneer with the ball at his feet.

The Spaniard was key to the way Barca played as he offered an option to his defenders, continuing to contribute to the club's success until 2014 and then ending his career in England with United and Middlesbrough.

CARLES PUYOL

Just as Barca brought something different to the goalkeeping position, Dani Alves altered the full-back's role. He was absent for the final due to suspension, so captain Puyol moved across from centre-back and was similarly effective, marauding down the right.

Puyol scored a World Cup semi-final winner the following year and retired in 2014 having won just about every trophy imaginable.

YAYA TOURE

With Puyol out of position, Toure had to be too. Rafael Marquez was injured and the Ivory Coast midfielder was given an uncomfortable time by Ronaldo at centre-back.

But Toure prevailed and went on to become a Premier League great at Manchester City, winning the last of his three titles after being reunited with Guardiola in 2017-18.

GERARD PIQUE

A former United man, Pique kept Barca on terms early on with a brave block following a Ronaldo free-kick.

And despite having since got his hands on almost every piece of silverware the sport has to offer, some would argue Pique is still improving after a fine campaign in 2018-19 - even if this month's Champions League semi-final against Liverpool was a real low point.

SYLVINHO

Eric Abidal's absence compounded Barca's defensive worries ahead of the final, with veteran left-back Sylvinho turning out for the final time before he joined City.

A short stint in the Premier League, where he had previously played for Arsenal, saw the end of the Brazilian's playing days, but he is back in the spotlight now as the new head coach of Lyon.

SERGIO BUSQUETS

This was Busquets' breakthrough season and he has scarcely stopped winning since. A calmer influence than the more expansive Toure, he nailed down a position in the middle of the carousel.

Seen for many years as the least glamorous of Barca's midfield options, the club are now hoping to groom a long-term replacement in the form of €75million man Frenkie de Jong.

XAVI HERNANDEZ

This was a match that typified Xavi's brilliance. One of the greatest passers of all time, he created the second goal for Messi with a gorgeous lofted ball, having earlier struck the post with a 20-yard free-kick.

He took in a further two Champions League final triumphs, bowing out in the 2015 defeat of Juventus. He retired from playing with Al-Sadd this month.

ANDRES INIESTA

Iniesta's sensational strike at Chelsea took Barca to the final, where he again showed his wonderful blend of passing precision and untouchable dribbling.

A decisive World Cup final goal when Spain downed the Netherlands in 2010 followed and Iniesta, like Xavi and now Busquets, has proved extremely difficult for Barca to replace. A once-in-a-generation talent in any other Blaugrana generation.

LIONEL MESSI

Heading into the 2009 final, Messi had never played on such a stage - having missed out through injury three years earlier - and was coming off his first season with more than 20 LaLiga goals. A stunning header capped the triumph.

What has happened since requires little explanation. Messi has established himself as perhaps the greatest player of all time, with goals, assists, runs, passes and lots and lots of trophies.

SAMUEL ETO'O

Eto'o was the only player in this side to go on to win the trophy again the following year. Barca were up against it for 10 minutes until a glorious dart inside Nemanja Vidic opened space for a low finish.

A move to Inter followed and Eto'o triumphed again, playing a supporting role to Diego Milito as Jose Mourinho's men beat Bayern Munich 2-0, before touring Europe in the latter stages of his career. He now plays in Qatar.

THIERRY HENRY

Henry and Arsenal were beaten by Barca in the 2006 final and a move to Camp Nou was long mooted for the Premier League's standout player. It finally came in 2007, and he initially excelled on the left of Guardiola's front three.

But Pedro's emergence hastened his departure a year on from Rome and he ended his career with a successful stint at New York Red Bulls. This season's brief tenure in charge of former club Monaco will not be so fondly remembered.

Manchester United battered Barcelona for nine minutes, with Cristiano Ronaldo roving maniacally in apparent pursuit of some sort of Champions League final shots record.

It was time for Pep Guardiola to again make the switch that helped to destroy Real Madrid earlier that month: Lionel Messi inside to false nine – a long forgotten position his exquisite Barca team and mercurial forward were beginning to revive.

Samuel Eto'o shuffled from centre-forward to the right of the front three and duly opened the scoring. Messi belied his diminutive stature to net a wonderful second-half header and Barcelona unseated reigning European kings United 2-0, adding the most satisfying part of a historic 2008-09 treble.

Ten years on, the ripples from that captivating night at Rome's Stadio Olimpico can still be felt across modern football. For the outstanding coach and player of their generation, it was the night it became clear everything was possible.

Messi unleashed

The season that earned Messi the first of his five Ballons d'Or was undoubtedly a watershed moment in his career.

Prior to Guardiola's arrival the Argentinian kid with a fondness for pizza and fizzy drinks had suffered frequent injury problems. The 2008-09 campaign was the first where he appeared in more than 30 LaLiga matches.

It was also the first time he broke through 20 top-flight goals. Only twice in the intervening years has he failed to net more than 30.

Messi's game, as with all true greats, has continued to evolve. While he was the most dazzling cog in Guardiola's whirring 2008-09 machine, he now carries Barca on his slight shoulders to a greater degree than ever before.

It feels like heresy to suggest Messi might have become simply the latest "next Diego Maradona", a shimmering talent waylaid by injury and expectation. But that was a possibility 10 years ago.

The Champions League final against United coming hot on the heels of him inspiring a 6-2 routing of Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu demonstrated he was so much more. That he did it within Guardiola's intricate team structure was perhaps the most compelling element.

Messi looked like a superstar entirely at odds with the Galactico age. In that sense he was completely in tune with his coach.

Winning Romanticism

Guardiola's swift salvage job at Barcelona after success had turned to excess under Frank Rijkaard, primarily through giving a tranche of outstanding youngsters their head, is a well-worn tale.

However, the wider footballing landscape in which he prevailed was just as important in establishing the meticulous Catalan as this decade's foremost tactical influencer.

This was the age of 4-2-3-1 – power, pace, pragmatism and confirmation of an accepted basic truth. Flair and invention would always capture the imagination and maybe even win occasionally, but organisational and solidity were the foundation of major titles.

Bolt on a superstar signing or two in an era of ever-spiralling transfer fees and you satisfied both factions, or at least tried to. Real Madrid's "Zidanes y Pavones" model of combining hard-working local players with global superstar yielded mixed results.

The difference with Guardiola's La Masia graduates was his "Pavones" – the label given life by unremarkable Madrid defender Francisco Pavon, the unassuming face of the other side of the Galactico coin – included Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, players every bit as good as Zinedine Zidane.

Guardiola updated Johan Cruyff's Barcelona vision of slick passing and positional play with some of his own influences – namely tactical fundamentalists such as Marcelo Bielsa, Juan Manuel Lillo and Ricardo La Volpe, men romantically attached to their principles of how the game should be played, seemingly at the expense of major honours. Guardiola winning because of, and not despite, those virtues was revelatory.

It captured the imagination of fans everywhere, including some men with very deep pockets.

Petrol and ideas

Fast forward to Manchester City's domestic treble this season and the reaction in some quarters to Guardiola's latest masterpiece has been very different. He is the darling of the romantics no more.

Critics have expressed distaste that City's back-to-back Premier League points hauls of 100 and 98 come fuelled by an Abu Dhabi fortune, fearing their dominance to be a demonstration of a game broken beyond repair. This aspect of coverage seems to have troubled Guardiola, whose commitment to playing the "right" way – as Cruyff would see it – has always projected an element of football moralism.

Big finance and big success have long been easy bedfellows but the focus of City's spending – leaving aside its sources and any outcome of ongoing investigations – is significantly different because Guardiola was always their priority signing. His system suitably fitted out guaranteed success in a way that simply punting on the latest superstars would not.

Arsene Wenger's observation of City having "petrol and ideas" remains pertinent and the influence of the methods European football first fell for in Rome are easy to spot far beyond Manchester.

Bayern Munich, steeped in their own historically successful style, grabbed a piece of the action as Guardiola led them to three consecutive Bundesliga titles between 2013-14 and 2015-16. When he left Germany's top flight, his nearest rival was Borussia Dortmund's Thomas Tuchel. A disciple of the positional style, Tuchel is now trying to bring ideological focus to Paris Saint-Germain's own petrol.

Back at Barcelona, Gerard Pique this week dismissed suggestions that a dispiriting end to the season is in part down to a turn away from Guardiola's style.

The Champions League final will be contested by Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool and Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham – coaches who have come closer than most to finding the Guardiola antidote, but who similarly demonstrate the prime importance of a high-tempo, hard-working collective. Like Guardiola, they are the single most important people at their clubs. Real Madrid's mooted €500m spending spree on the biggest names looks a strangely dated approach by comparison.

Such cycles invariably come to an end, but for the foreseeable future football's course remains set by the magic Messi and his colleagues weaved so irresistibly 10 years ago.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino admits a call over whether to start Harry Kane in the Champions League final could prove decisive to their hopes of beating Liverpool.

England captain Kane has not featured for Spurs since suffering ankle ligament damage in the first leg of the quarter-final triumph over Manchester City on April 9.

The striker has resumed training and Pochettino hopes he will be fit enough to be involved in Madrid on June 1, along with team-mates Harry Winks, Davinson Sanchez and Jan Vertonghen.

However, he concedes he is likely to live or die by whatever decision he makes regarding Kane and the starting line-up.

"We are happy," Pochettino said about Kane's fitness, as per the Observer. "Whether to start him is a point we're thinking about a lot. It is a decision that, one way or the other, will be judged after the game.

"If we win: fantastic decision. If we lose: s*** decision, and you are going to kill me.

"We are working that everyone will be available to play and, at the moment, Harry is on course. Harry, Davinson, Harry Winks and Jan – the evolution today is very good. And then it's going to be our decision to see if they will be available from the beginning."

Pochettino was emotional after each of Spurs' dramatic victories over City and Ajax in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, something he says is no surprise to those who know him best.

"My mother said to me, 'You are a llorona' – a person who cries often and a lot," he said. "My mum and my two brothers are different, and my dad is more strong. I am strong but very emotional and I cry.

"Maybe I listen to some music in my car, it translates to some moment in my life and I start to cry. When I arrive home, my wife says, 'What happened?' I say, 'I was listening to some music that translated to a moment 30 years ago in Argentina!' And she will say, 'You are crazy.'"

But Pochettino is acutely aware of the importance of managing the emotion of the occasion when Spurs and Liverpool walk out onto the Wanda Metropolitano pitch.

"What I learned from playing the 1992 Copa Libertadores semi-final and final with Newell's Old Boys was that your emotional state is decisive," he added. "It's not tactics, it's not physicality. It's about how the emotion will be the trigger for your talent, how you manage it."

Undimmed by the passage of time and present-day struggles at Old Trafford, Manchester United's 1999 treble remains the greatest single-season achievement in English club football history.

While Manchester City's current domestic dominance is one of towering points totals and smashed records, Alex Ferguson's finest hour was one built upon a death-or-glory knife edge.

From Birmingham to Barcelona via Turin, a United side packed with household names secured their legacy in unforgettable style.

To mark the 20th anniversary of a remarkable triumph, we look back at some of the signature wins in a campaign that came to define Ferguson's Old Trafford dynasty.

Manchester United 2 Liverpool 0 (Premier League, September 24)

Never mind three trophies, United were yet to claim three league wins by the time bitter rivals Liverpool arrived at Old Trafford in late September and Ferguson's men had been beaten 3-0 by reigning champions Arsenal four days earlier. Denis Irwin hammered in a 19th-minute penalty after fellow Republic of Ireland international Jason McAteer was penalised for handball and Paul Scholes thrashed left-footed into the top corner 11 minutes from time to crown a trademark counter-attack. The victory launched a three-match winning streak – United were up and running.

Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1 (FA Cup fourth round, January 24)

Tottenham knocked a much-changed United out of the League Cup in December and Liverpool looked set to end their FA Cup ambitions after Michael Owen nodded in an early opener. Dwight Yorke converted Andy Cole's knockdown from a floated David Beckham free-kick to level in the 88th minute and, following some neat footwork from Scholes, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pounced in stoppage-time – a theme we'll return to later.

Nottingham Forest 1 Manchester United 8 (Premier League, February 6)

Forest's day did not look like it could get much worse when Solskjaer trotted on to replace Yorke in the 71st minute, United already 4-1 to the good at the City Ground. The "Baby-Faced Assassin" duly pilfered four goals in the final 10 minutes of the contest as United clinically and mercilessly pulled their ill-equipped foes to pieces.

Manchester United's finest hour in the modern era saw them come from behind to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in the 1998-99 Champions League final and Sunday marks the 20th anniversary of that momentous day.

Alex Ferguson's United had an immensely difficult run en route to the final, having faced Bayern and Barcelona in the group stage, before then eliminating Inter and Juventus in the knockout phase.

Bayern – who faced rather more modest opposition in Kaiserslautern and Dynamo Kiev before the final – found themselves ahead after just six minutes, with Mario Basler's free-kick finding the bottom-right corner.

The Germans had the better of things and looked to be heading for the title, but in the first minute of stoppage time Teddy Sheringham turned Ryan Giggs' scuffed shot in from close range.

Two minutes later, United secured their remarkable turnaround – Sheringham nodded on a David Beckham corner and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prodded home the most famous goal in the club's history.

On the 20th anniversary, we've looked back at the teams on display that day and investigated what they are up to in 2019…

MANCHESTER UNITED

Peter Schmeichel

Since hanging up his gloves, Schmeichel has remained a prominent media personality, appearing as a pundit for many major broadcasters. In December he declared his interest in the director of football role at United, though nothing more has been heard on that front since.

Gary Neville

After a poor stint as Valencia coach came to abrupt end in 2016, Gary Neville returned to his role as a leading pundit on Sky Sports in England. He is also a part-owner – with fellow 'Class of '92' graduates Phil Neville, Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Beckham – of Salford City, a club who recently earned promotion to League Two.

Ronny Johnsen

Norwegian Johnsen has worked as a television pundit in his homeland, while he is also a United ambassador, often travelling to events around the globe and representing the club.

Jaap Stam

In his day, Stam was one of the finest centre-backs and he has also shown signs of promise as a coach. After being sacked by Reading last year, he returned to Netherlands and took over PEC Zwolle in December. He seemingly did enough in his first four months to convince Feyenoord, who announced in March that Stam will replace departing coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst in June.

Denis Irwin

One of the real unsung heroes of the treble-winning side, Irwin probably isn't considered as much of a 'great' as he should because of his quiet, unassuming nature. As such, perhaps it's no surprise he did not go into coaching, though he has made regular appearances on United's TV channel, worked for Irish broadcasters and written a column for a newspaper.

Ryan Giggs

A brief stint as interim manager of United after David Moyes was sacked in 2014 opened the door to Giggs' coaching career. He served as assistant to Louis van Gaal during his two-year spell as boss, before taking charge of Wales' senior side last year, which he juggles with his Salford responsibilities.

David Beckham

Given his celebrity-like off-field life as a player, it's probably no surprise Beckham never went into management. A philanthropist and investor, the former England star is more businessman than sportsman these days, though he is joint owner of Inter Miami, a club expected to play in MLS from 2020.

Nicky Butt

Having worked as a youth coach after halting his playing days, Butt was hired as the head of United's academy in 2016, overseeing the development of some talented players, such as James Garner, Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong.

Jesper Blomqvist

Another who has done a bit of TV work, but Blomqvist's post-football life is otherwise significantly different to many of his former colleagues – he now runs a pizzeria near Stockholm.

Dwight Yorke

Ambition certainly isn't something Yorke lacks, as he put himself forward for the Aston Villa job last October, though he was unsuccessful, probably because his only coaching experience was a stint as Trinidad and Tobago assistant manager a decade ago.

Andy Cole

Although Cole has trained to become a coach and briefly worked for Milton Keynes Dons, Huddersfield Town and United, that side of his career is yet to take off, partly down to health issues, having had to have a kidney transplant in April 2017.

Substitutes:

Teddy Sheringham

Great players don't always amount to top managers, which is surely relevant for Sheringham. The former striker was praised for his impact on West Ham's forwards during a stint as an attacking coach but lasted less than a year in his first management position at Stevenage. Similarly, he was in charge of Indian side ATK for six months last season before being sacked.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Introduced as a substitute who saved the day in 1999, Solskjaer finds himself in a comparable position 20 years later. After a successful interim period as Jose Mourinho's replacement, he was hired on a full-time basis as United manager in March, but poor results ever since have seen that decision called into question. Can he lead another turnaround at the club? Only time will tell.

 

BAYERN MUNICH

Oliver Kahn

One of the most iconic players – not just goalkeepers – of his generation, Kahn is also having a pretty successful 'retirement'. Still rocking his trademark blond locks, the 49-year-old is an entrepreneur and businessman, pundit and seemingly in line for a major backroom role at Bayern in the future, with reports suggesting he will take over as president once Uli Hoeness decides he has had enough.

Markus Babbel

Babbel's management career began brightly, as he presided over part of Stuttgart's Bundesliga title challenge in 2008-09. However, aside from a successful promotion campaign with Hertha Berlin two years later, there has been little to get excited about. Having also coached Hoffenheim and Luzern in Switzerland, the former defender made the switch to Western Sydney Wanderers in the A-League last year. They finished the season eighth in the 10-team division.

Thomas Linke

Instead of coaching, Linke opted to pursue more management-based roles after ending his playing career. He briefly served as sporting director at RB Leipzig in 2011 before resigning for personal reasons. Later that year he joined Ingolstadt, and under his guidance the club earned promotion in 2014-15. Relegation two years later brought his resignation, but he returned in November for the rest of the season.

Lothar Matthaus

Coaching has seen Matthaus embark on an intriguing post-playing career, managing Rapid Vienna, Partizan Belgrade, Hungary, Atletico Paranaense, Red Bull Salzburg, Maccabi Netanya and Bulgaria. None of them were particularly successful, however, and he mostly seen working as a pundit on German television these days.

Sammy Kuffour

It is fair to say Kuffour's career since retiring has been rather less nomadic than Matthaus'. Media appearances in his native Ghana have been regular, while he is now on the Ghanaian Football Association's 'normalisation committee', having been appointed after FIFA disbanded their executive committee last year following allegations of misconduct.

Michael Tarnat

Tarnat returned to Bayern after retirement, becoming a talent scout and prominent academy coach for the best part of seven years. In 2017 he went back to another of his former clubs, Hannover, where he is the head of the youth development side of things.

Stefan Effenberg

Known for his on-field aggression, Effenberg is – perhaps predictably – somewhat infamous for his controversial opinions and brutal honesty as a pundit and columnist. His only venture in management came in 2015-16 with Paderborn, but he was sacked after only five months at the helm. The former midfielder is also a banker.

Jens Jeremies

Battling midfielder Jeremies opted against taking his terrier-like attitude into management or coaching. Instead, he has worked as a player agent and run his own charity.

Mario Basler

As a player, Basler was as divisive as they come. Rarely shy about his penchant for drinking and smoking, he seemed to fall out with almost everyone. Judging by that reputations, his new career as a stand-up comedian is seemingly rather more suitable to him than management, which he had little success with.

Carsten Jancker

After learning his trade with SC Neusiedl and Rapid Vienna, Jancker took his first head coach job at SV Horn, another Austrian club, in June 2017. Nevertheless, he was dismissed in November last year and is yet to take up another position elsewhere.

Alexander Zickler

Like his former strike partner, Zickler went to Austria to cut his teeth in the coaching field, working at Red Bull Salzburg for seven years. That stay is set to come to an end soon, as the former Germany international is to follow the club's first-team coach Marco Rose to Borussia Monchengladbach.

Substitutes:

Mehmet Scholl

Bayern icon Scholl spent the first few years post-retirement working with the club's youth teams and reserve side, with whom he enjoyed two spells. But, since quitting in 2013, he has been focusing on punditry and media work.

Thorsten Fink

A fairly prominent management career followed Fink's playing days, with Ingolstadt, Basel, Hamburg and APOEL among those he has managed. His most recent job was at Grasshoppers Zurich, but that ended poorly as he was sacked in March and Switzerland's most successful club were ultimately relegated at the end of the season.

Hasan Salihamidzic

Salihamidzic is once again an important figure at Bayern. The former winger is now sporting director and has been praised in recent times for his work in that domain, with the club particularly looking towards younger players.

Jordan Henderson wants to see Liverpool emulate Manchester City and start winning multiple trophies every season.

Liverpool face Tottenham in the Champions League final in Madrid on Saturday looking to secure their first piece of silverware since 2012.

City claimed a domestic treble this season, including the Premier League, a campaign after winning two trophies.

Henderson, whose side were beaten in last season's Champions League final, is eager to see Jurgen Klopp's men become similarly successful.

"City have won three trophies this year, and that's where we want to be," the Liverpool captain told UK newspapers, via The Guardian.

"We don't want to be going for just one cup or title, we want to be winning more and more each year.

"If you look at City, they don't stop at one trophy, they are picking up two or three a season, and that's something this club should really be doing. That's the aim, anyway."

City denied Liverpool in the Premier League this season, despite the Reds securing 97 points.

Henderson insisted his team had moved on and he hopes they can make the most of their European chance at the Wanda Metropolitano.

"We can't change what happened in the Premier League now, but we can change what we do in the final," he said.

"I think we were all disappointed for a couple of days, but football changes so quickly and so does your focus. And there's nothing better to make you focus than a Champions League final.

"This is obviously a big opportunity for us – and we really want to finish this season with a trophy.

"If that doesn't happen, it will be really hard to take, but at the same time we can still look forward to what comes in the seasons ahead."

Gian Piero Gasperini admits it would be a "huge disappointment" if Atalanta failed to qualify for the Champions League, despite surpassing all expectations this season.

Atalanta are third in Serie A going into Sunday's final round of matches, meaning victory against Sassuolo would secure a place in Europe's elite club competition next season.

But Gasperini's men could be caught by both Inter - in the final Champions League spot - and fifth-placed AC Milan, leaving the coach wary of a setback.

Atalanta lost the Coppa Italia final to Lazio earlier this month and Gasperini does not want a repeat.

"I must admit, if we don't make it into the Champions League now, it'll be a huge disappointment," he told a news conference. "Losing the Coppa Italia final was hard to swallow, too.

"It all depends on us. We won't have to listen for news from other stadiums if we do our job. Our fate is in our own hands and we could even finish third.

"Just fourth seemed almost impossible, so imagine third!"

Atalanta have scored more goals than any other side in Serie A this season, with Gasperini earning plaudits for their thrilling style of play.

But the coach is keen to deflect any praise on to his players, adding: "They have been extraordinary and all the compliments I have received should be passed on to them.

"We've been very consistent with both results and performances. We picked up a lot of points and scored a lot of goals.

"People say we are entertaining to watch, but ultimately the results are what matter. We've beaten bigger clubs and it felt like a constant fightback because we started so badly [winning one of their first eight matches].

"This is certainly a side with quality, as we scored 100 goals in all competitions."

Inter host Empoli on Sunday, while Milan go to SPAL.

Virgil van Dijk is hoping Liverpool can top their "nuts" semi-final against Barcelona in the Champions League final next week.

The Reds, led by centre-back Van Dijk, overturned a 3-0 first-leg deficit with a 4-0 win at Anfield in the return fixture to advance 4-3 on aggregate, reaching the final for the second year running.

Last season, though, the joy of beating Roma was followed by the devastation of defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev.

Van Dijk is determined that this time, against Premier League rivals Tottenham in Madrid, Liverpool will finish the job, building on the Barca match.

"I could not sleep much [after Barcelona], maybe two hours," the defender told the Guardian. "It was totally crazy.

"From the moment we arrived at the stadium, you had the feeling it could be something special. When Divock Origi scored that early goal, you could feel the belief. Everything was perfect that night.

"It wasn't like we had luck. We totally deserved it because anyone would say a team 3-0 down against Barcelona is not going to do it. Messi's going to score - and if they scored one, it was almost impossible.

"But we did it. It was nuts. You can't really describe it. Hopefully we can finish it off now and make an even bigger memory."

Glory in Europe would provide a fitting end to a season in which Liverpool excelled in the Premier League but fell just short of matching champions Manchester City.

However, Van Dijk insists their ultimate failure to deliver silverware in the league will not impact the side's thinking against Spurs.

"We're not thinking about losing or how we're going to overcome this barrier of losing the Premier League by one point, then losing the Champions League," he said.

"That’s not worth thinking about. I'm thinking about playing to our best ability with all our talent and experience.

"I read that if we win the Champions League, our next two games are the Community Shield and European Super Cup. We can win three cups in three games. It's something we strive for.

"We were close in the Premier League, but now we have a chance to win the Champions League, the big one. We're going to give it everything we've got."

Fenerbahce face sanctions from UEFA after breaching their Financial Fair Play (FFP) agreement in 2018-19.

The Super Lig giants signed a settlement agreement in May 2016, but UEFA's Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) said on Friday the club failed to meet their break-even target.

The CFCB has consequently referred Fenerbahce to its adjudicatory chamber, which could lead to a ban from European competition.

Meanwhile, Porto will operate under transfer restrictions and a limitation on their European squad size, having "partially fulfilled" their targets.

Galatasaray and Maccabi Tel Aviv were deemed to be in compliance and will stay in the settlement regime.

Lionel Messi feels Barcelona are still yet to recover from their crushing Champions League loss to Liverpool.

Ernesto Valverde's side have the chance to complete back-to-back domestic doubles when they face Valencia in Saturday's Copa del Rey final.

LaLiga glory was wrapped up at a canter, meaning their remarkable collapse to a 4-0 thumping at Anfield – having won the first leg of the semi-final 3-0 – threatens to define an otherwise excellent campaign.

Messi was unable to stem the tide as Jurgen Klopp's side ran riot after half-time and, more than two weeks on, the loss still stings.

"The Liverpool game was a really, really hard blow. It was the hardest moment of the year, it was hard to get back up," Messi told a pre-match news conference, where he insisted he and his team-mates should take responsibility for what unfolded on Merseyside.

"I blame the players, not only the coach. I heard a lot of the critics of Valverde but I do not make him guilty for the loss to Liverpool. The coach has done impressive work.

"I blame the squad. We cannot afford games like that any longer."

Messi is guaranteed to collect the European Golden Shoe unless Kylian Mbappe scores four times in Paris Saint-Germain's Friday encounter against Reims on Friday.

But the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is not thinking of such individual awards and the bad taste of what happened against Liverpool still lingers.

"I'm still thinking about the Liverpool loss. I don't really have time to think about the Golden Shoe award," said Messi, who observed the parallels with last season's Champions League quarter-final defeat against Roma - when Barca won the initial game 4-1 - were particularly tough to take.

"I am focused on winning tomorrow and trying to forget the game at Anfield.

"We did a very similar game to in Rome the year before. In the second half we didn't compete and that's something we cannot afford. Liverpool were much, much better than us.

"We played a lamentable game. It can happen one year, but to happen two years in a row [when you] have the chance to be in a Champions League final… it's impermissible.

"The sensation is strange and that's why the team have to focus on trying to get a double. We were hit so hard by Anfield. We were so focused on the Champions League and trying not to repeat the performance from Rome."

Messi rejected the suggestion that such a loss could persuade him to call time on his exceptional Barcelona career – likening such a reaction to the hysteria that accompanies his every setback with Argentina at international level.

"No, no and no. It happens the same with the Argentina national team," he said. "Whichever time we lose, I am wanting to fight on and on and on to win titles. It is the same with Barca.

"I have to apologise for the second half at Liverpool, not because of the result but because of the image we gave."

Messi added: "We have to be focused on trying to win and trying to get the Copa del Rey. If we lose, it is going to be even worse than the way that we are at this moment.

"Apart from the Liverpool game, Barca have made a great year, winning LaLiga and trying to win the Copa del Rey. Apart from that game at Liverpool, we've done a really nice job. We've had a great year if you take out that game."

Barcelona's Anfield anguish had roots in the rubble of their Champions League collapse at Roma last season, according to Gerard Pique.

Long-serving defender Pique was unable to stem the tide as Liverpool ran roughshod over Ernesto Valverde's side, winning the second leg of their semi-final 4-0 to overturn a 3-0 deficit from the initial encounter at Camp Nou.

It means that, as Liverpool prepare for next weekend's final against Tottenham in Madrid, Barca's season is shrouded in a sense of anti-climax despite them going for back-to-back doubles in Saturday's Copa del Rey final against Valencia.

Valverde has been backed by the club to continue in his post despite similar quarter-final disappointment versus Roma last term, where a 4-1 first-leg lead was squandered in the Italian capital.

"When something like this happens, everything or almost everything has gone wrong," Pique told El Pais.

"I think that on a mental level, some people were affected by what happened in Rome because we had it very recently."

Divock Origi opened the scoring early on for Liverpool and the Belgium forward settled matters after a quickfire second-half double from substitute Georginio Wijnaldum.

"With the first goal, which was very fast, unconsciously you see the image of Rome. Then two more came very quickly and it looked too much like what happened a year ago. 

"Surely it was a mental block, but football was also missing. We missed everything. And they pressed very high, very intense, Anfield also played its role ... we were not able [to deal with it]. 

"Sometimes it happens. It was a very hard day. It has been hard to get up emotionally because the days passed and you do not forget the defeat. 

"It is a fall that will last over time. But we must take a step forward."

Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong will be part of any step forward when he joins for €75million from Ajax ahead of next season.

Ajax captain and centre-back Matthijs de Ligt has also been linked with making the switch to Camp Nou and Pique believes the common footballing philosophy established by Johan Cruyff at each club remains significant.

"They are players who understand our football because we have drunk from the same source, which is Cruyff's," he said.

"I do not know what will happen, but De Ligt has many qualities because of how young he is. And De Jong has a lot of potential and future ahead of him."

Valverde's sometimes pragmatic approach to matches and an increasing reliance upon the mercurial Lionel Messi has led to accusations Barcelona have moved away from this Cruyffian vision – something Pique feels is wide of the mark.

"The fans and Catalans are very demanding and we like to do things perfectly," he said. "It is no longer about winning but how you win. 

"In [Pep] Guardiola's time we played the football that we have always liked and we all know. This debate will always be, whoever the coach is. 

"But I can assure you that it is the same style that Valverde wants to play. I am in the locker room and that is what he transmits to us. 

"But it not only depends on him but also on those who are on the field. Now we are pushed by many more rivals and it is more complicated.

"Before it was easy to use the goalkeeper [to build play from the back] and now it is almost impossible. You look at three against three up front and for that sometimes a long ball is good. 

"There are many nuances in football that we tend to centralise on the coach or a player when it is a sport of many variables."

Real Madrid have responded strongly to Mauricio Pochettino's "demonstrations" after the Tottenham manager joked his team had not been allowed to stay at the LaLiga giants' training base ahead of the Champions League final.

Spurs face Liverpool at Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano a week on Saturday and will train at Madrid's Valdebebas training base in preparation for the showpiece.

Pochettino has previously been touted as a future Los Blancos boss, most recently when the reigns of Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari were swiftly curtailed this season.

Apparently making light of these links in an interview with El Partidazo de COPE, Pochettino said: "Ahead of the final, we will train at Valdebebas and sleep in a nearby hotel.

"I asked Florentino [Perez, Madrid president] to let us sleep in the sports centre, but he told me that I can only sleep there when I become the coach of Real Madrid."

Madrid responded with a statement, in which it was deemed necessary to clarify Tottenham had never requested to stay at their club residence and that UEFA is solely responsible for such arrangements.

"Real Madrid CF is surprised by the demonstrations made by the coach of Tottenham Hotspur, Mauricio Pochettino, about a supposed request made to our club so that his team could stay in the residence of the Real Madrid City on the occasion of the final of the Champions League," the statement read. 

"Real Madrid CF wants to make it clear that it is outright false that this request was produced. Our club has always shown its absolute availability to meet all the requests made by UEFA, the Royal Spanish Football Federation, Club Atletico de Madrid, Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur.

"All requests submitted to Real Madrid have referred only and exclusively to the use of the training camps of the Ciudad Real Madrid and its changing rooms. And all of them have been granted by our club. 

"Thus, Liverpool plans to train in our facilities on Saturday, June 1 in the morning. Tottenham, for its part, will do so on Thursday, May 30 and Friday, May 31."

The statement added: "Real Madrid CF also wants to emphasise that the accommodation of the finalist teams of the Champions League are assigned by UEFA following criteria of organisation and security. And that at no time has our club been requested that these teams could be accommodated in the facilities of Ciudad Real Madrid."

Massimiliano Allegri has claimed his Juventus successor will be "a manager of Manchester" amid speculation linking Pep Guardiola with a shock move to Turin.

On Thursday, Italian news agency AGI reported Manchester City boss Guardiola had agreed a four-year contract worth €24million annually to take over at Serie A champions Juve, claiming the deal will be announced on June 4 before a presentation 10 days later.

Speaking before City completed an unprecedented domestic treble by hammering Watford 6-0 in last weekend's FA Cup final, Guardiola insisted he had no intention of moving to Juventus and club board member Alberto Galassi told Sky Italia the renewed reports were "a load of nonsense".

However, Allegri made a mischievous contribution to the saga when he attended a restaurant opening in Dairago, Milan.

Local newspaper Sport Legnano reported Allegri was asked by a Juventus fan who the club's next head coach would be and he replied: "A manager of Manchester is coming."

Allegri confirmed last week he would leave Juventus after guiding them to a fifth consecutive Scudetto this term.

Success in the Champions League proved elusive for the former AC Milan boss, however, with Ajax ending the Italian club’s interest at the quarter-final stage this time around, following final losses to Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively in 2015 and 2017 finals.

Guardiola has two years remaining on his current City contract and has swept to five of the previous six major domestic honours on offer in England.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp would find it tough to deal with another Champions League final defeat, according to Jose Mourinho.

Klopp's men are in the decider of Europe's premier club competition for the second straight season, facing Tottenham in Madrid on June 1.

The German saw his team suffer a 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in last year's final, while his Borussia Dortmund side were beaten in the 2013 decider by Bayern Munich.

Mourinho, a two-time winner of the Champions League, said another loss for Klopp would hurt.

"If Jurgen wins it's an incredible achievement for him," Mourinho told Sky Sports News.

"If Jurgen doesn't win, you know... to lose three Champions League finals... phew... that has to be really, really hard, but he is a very positive guy, I'm sure he's just thinking about winning.

"Being a manager, and understanding what it means for a manager to play a Champions League final, there is always a negative side of it and the negative side is that one team will lose and one manager will lose."

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is also yet to win a trophy at the helm of Spurs, although he has achieved top-four Premier League finishes in the past four seasons.

Mourinho believes a win at the Wanda Metropolitano could lead to a period of sustained success for Tottenham.

"Spurs are not winning titles and to win the first one would be fantastic and could lead to other domestic trophies because the Champions League is the biggest one of all," he said.

"Finals are not to play, finals are to win."

Jurgen Klopp has revealed how he acts as a "reserve tank" for his Liverpool players during games, even if they have become accustomed to his touchline antics.

The Reds boss is not one to suppress his emotions when watching the game unfold from his technical area, even venturing out onto the pitch to hug goalkeeper Alisson after a dramatic late winner in the Merseyside derby against Everton this season.

Klopp was just as animated at times on the sidelines when in charge of Borussia Dortmund but insists he has mellowed through the years.

Still, the German believes there are moments when he needs to motivate his team during matches, hoping that a few choice words – not always necessarily positive – will prompt a reaction on the field.

"There are two reasons why I'm so energetic on the sidelines," Klopp said in a video on the club's Twitter page. "One is my character, obviously. I’m already much calmer than I used to be, to be honest.

"I'm [also] kind of the reserve tank for the boys, when I feel the energy level goes a bit down, then I'm still there and can kick their butt, or whatever they need in that moment.

"It's better to be angry with me than to think, 'It's too intense today'. You always need something like a response, how I understand. I needed that as a player as well.

"The boys I think they are used to it by now, because if I give some credit or some compliments they look exactly the same way as when I shout something not so positive.

"That's my problem, with the face, but meanwhile they are used to it."

Despite Klopp's encouragement, Liverpool missed out on the Premier League title, finishing a point behind champions Manchester City.

They may yet secure silverware in the 2018-19 campaign, though, thanks to a second consecutive appearance in the Champions League final, with Tottenham awaiting them in Madrid on June 1.

While Klopp has rightly received plenty of plaudits for his work at Anfield since taking charge in October 2015, he insists it is far from a one-man show.

"I know I’m good in a couple of things, really good at a few things, and that's enough," he said. "My confidence is big enough that I can really let people grow next to me.

"That's no problem. I need experts around me, it’s really important that you're empathic, that you try to understand the people around you and that you give real support to the people around you. Then, everybody can act.

"That's what leadership is; having strong people around you with better knowledge in different departments than yourself, don't act like you know everything – be ready to admit, 'I have no clue in the moment, give me a couple of minutes then I will have a clue'.

"That's not really philosophy, it's just my way of life."

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