UEFA Champions League Final 2011 – Barcelona vs Manchester United
In the summer of 2010 I was lucky enough to be the highest bidder at the auction at my sons school fair for a pair of tickets to the champion’s league final. The money raised (£520.00) went to my son’s primary school so it was a win win situation. The school received a great donation and my son and I were off to Wembley the following May.
While we hoped it would be a match that would include Arsenal it wasn’t to be and maybe thats why is not the favourite match I have ever been too (more about that later).
Our tickets arrived in April 2011 and that’s when we realised they were corporate tickets with Sony!!!! Woo hoo, smiles all around. As an Arsenal fan once my team had been knocked out I had been offered over £3,000 for my tickets but I held on to them and it was the best decision.
Barcelona vs Manchester United were the teams in the final and we were on team Barcelona aka Barsenal.
Date: May 28th 2011
The day arrived and we got the red carpet treatment literally. Our tickets with Sony included access to the Sony lounge with pre game drinks and appetizers, then dinner & 3D TV and foosball .
Then we took our seats and it was all about celebrity spotting before the match started.
The football was great too…..
Barcelona outplayed Manchester United, with more possession and more attempts on goal.
Barcelona took the lead in the 27th minute when Xavi played in Pedro, who struck from inside the penalty box for 1-0.
Manchester United equalised seven minutes later against the run of play. Wayne Rooney played a one-two with Ryan Giggs, and curled the ball into the corner from 15 yards, 1-1.
As the whistle blew many people on our tier went into their corporate lounges, but my son managed to get a few celebrities signatures in his programme.
We also got a chance to meet the fastest man on earth. We noticed a crowd gathered around Usain Bolt!!! He stayed in his seat at half time and took
pictures and signed autographs for fans. Usain Bolt a man united fan was there as a guest and opened the show with a music performance with Tichy Strider
Barcelona’s dominance continued in the second half. They regained the lead in the 54th minute when Messi received the ball and fired home from 20 yards out for 2-1. The third goal came in the 69th minute. David Villa got the ball about 20 yards out and curled a shot into the top corner to seal the result.
Barcelona won their fourth European title and the third in six years. The match ended 3-1.
One of the best moments was watching Éric Abidal lift the trophy. Abidal had undergone surgery only two months earlier to remove a cancerous tumour in his liver. He was given the honour of wearing the captain’s armband during the trophy presentation ceremony. He was the first player to lift the trophy. Speaking afterwards, Abidal, who was in tears, appreciated the gesture, and spoke of how “special” his club was.
After we watched the teams collect their medals and Barcelona celebrate on the pitch we went back to the Sony lounge for more post match drinks, more food and DJ Mark Ronson played music till 1am.
The Champions league final was a great day and one of the best football matches I’ve ever been too.
But my favourite match of all time was when I took my son to his first football match on May 11th 2005. It was a night at Highbury to remember. Click here to see why.
Want to see what else I have on my bucket list?