Catalan press claim 'clever old cat' Fergie's United 'scared' of Barca

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As well as having to deal with carbon monoxide, choking fumes and the hot air generated by Boris Johnson, the poor, suffering people of London are now also having to cope with Barça’s gargantuan smug cloud, which has reached 'The Smoke' after a drifting three-day journey from southern Europe.

Londoners will now be suffering from the same symptoms that curse the Catalan capital on a daily basis - intense self satisfaction and moral superiority - as they go about their day.

The Qatar Foundation’s Dream Boys are in town to take on Manchester United in the Champions League final at Wembley - the scene of the 1992 Dream Team’s victory over Sampdoria - and for many in the Catalan capital the match is already won.

Friday’s cover of Sport proclaims (in giant letters, no less) that “They’re scared!” boasting that “Barça’s stars frighten Manchester!”

The analysis inside suggests that United are doomed, with Joan Batlle thumbing through his big book of football stereotypes before stating that the English champions’ primary weapons are “physical intensity, aerial power, set-pieces and counter-attacks," which he notes were 'not enough' when the two sides met in the 2009 final in Rome.

In fact, according to his colleague Josep María Casanovas, Barcelona need not even bother plodding out on the field, as the mental powers of the fans in the stands will be enough to defeat United. “The current Barça has the faith of a region, the strength of a social phenomenon and the unstoppable force of the movement of the masses.”

Across the city, Mundo Deportivo have turned down the confidence dial from ‘supremely’ to ‘fairly’. “Barça are a better team than Manchester, player by player and collectively. But one game can reduce the difference and Fergie is a clever old cat and will want to trigger a short circuit in the centre of the pitch," reasons Santi Nolla.

Unsurprisingly, Madrid papers Marca and AS don't lead quite so heavily with Saturday’s big match. In the former, you have to plough your way through stories about Karim Benzema, Kun Agüero and the fine mess that Atlético Madrid have gotten themselves into with their stars all wanting to jump ship before you find a mention.

The trifling matter of the Champions League is dealt with on page 14, with the analysis featuring a Tweeted photo of Gerard Piqué and Carles Puyol at Arsenal's training facility, where Barça have been training and by the look of it, up to no good. “Puyol and I [are] stealing a picture of Cesc,” giggles the former Manchester United centre back.

José Mourinho’s coup d’état - which ended with Jorge Valdano being fired by Florentino Pérez - may still be causing rumblings throughout the Madridista world, but tomorrow the Champions League final will surely take centre stage all over Spain.

A win for Barcelona will cause the smug levels to remain at dangerously high levels in Catalonia for years to come, leaving José Mourinho looking for something to kick. A defeat and....well, not that much will change. The opinion in the Barcelona press is that the Spain’s league champions don’t need another trophy to be the best team in the world. For many in Catalonia, that prize can never be taken away from them.