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‘I have never felt so embarrassed’ – Man United legend reveals how Barcelona veteran made fun of him

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Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has acknowledged that he was embarrassed by Sergio Busquets during the 2011 UEFA Champions League final; a match that Barcelona won 3-1.

Both teams came into the final as champions of their respective domestic leagues, with Barcelona from La Liga and their counterparts from the Premier League. 

However, neither side had clinched a domestic cup throughout the season. During the match, Barcelona took control, with goals coming from Pedro, Lionel Messi, and David Villa, thereby securing their fourth Champions League title.

This was the second time in three years that the two teams had met in the Champions League final and Barcelona got the better of Man United on both occasions.

How did Busquets embarrass Man United?

Speaking about a moment Ferdinand had with Busquets during the 2011 final, he explained, “I have never felt so embarrassed,” he said on Sky Bet’s ‘Stick to Football’ podcast.

The moment he was referring to was Busquets’ remarks regarding their shift to playing long balls alongside teammate Nemanja Vidic, aiming for a more direct style of play.

“I remember that I picked up the ball in a small fight with Busquets; there was little left and they were winning. 

Sergio Busquets humbled Manchester United in the 2011 Champions League final. (Photo credit: FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

“I took the ball from him, the referee blew the whistle and Sergio told me: “You, Vidic, boom, boom boom”, like “Long ball, long ball, long ball.”

“I almost laughed. I felt so embarrassed. I had never felt so embarrassed on the field,” he added.

As the United players watched Busquets and the Barcelona team lift the trophy at Wembley, Ferdinand told Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney,

“Let’s get out of this field, damn it, they have embarrassed us.”

What happened in the game?

Ferdinand explained that despite facing Barcelona for the second time, United had no answers to Barcelona’s brilliance.

He said that the Blaugrana were just too good and there was absolutely nothing that they could have done to stop them.

“In both finals, we played very high pressure and our game at that time was probably not the same against the big teams in Europe.

“They were too good. They took all the weapons off us and we went to a fight with no guns no knives and that’s what it felt like.

That was the only time in my career that I thought we could not do anything.

“Without the ball, Pedro was the trigger. As soon as they lost the ball, BANG! He was so aggressive. All five foot five, just wanting to take the ball off you,” he concluded.

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