The dream final: God's XI vs Wimbledon

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Cynical old La Liga Loca has been around for a few centuries now in one form or another and is all too aware that ‘dream finals’ rarely turn out that way.

So knowing already that Wednesday’s affair will be to football what Guti is to commitment, the blog has taken pleasure from seeing what Photoshopped front-cover Sport would produce ahead of the critical clash, instead.

And as ever, the Barcelona-based paper did not disappoint.

The pressure was definitely on after their splendid effort from two years ago which portrayed Joan Laporta as God and Frank Rijkaard as Moses handing down the president’s Ten Commandments before the new season.

"Here, take these tablets"

But Sport delivered the goods with some gusto on Tuesday with an effort that featured the Barça players as gladiators - or rather, the heads of Barça players jammed onto the bodies of gladiators.

To be fair to the paper’s art department, Messi and Piqué looked just fine thrusting their swords in the air.

But Thierry Henry resembled a Russell Crowe body-graft that had gone very badly wrong and poor old Xavi looked like the tiny-headed man from Beetlejuice.

Wednesday’s edition trumpets the ‘super final’ between Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo - Wayne Rooney appears to be completely unheard of in Spain - with what feels like 28 pages of drivel from the keyboard of Josep María Casanovas.

Much of his thesis portrays Manchester United as the vulgar plaything of evil capitalists unlike the pure-as-a-kitten's-trump Barça who “are completely the opposite, a local entity that strives to be a multinational of passion and feeling.”

Casanovas is also under the assumption that Barcelona will be facing a late-'80s Wimbledon side by huffing that Manchester United play “typical English football: the sooner the ball is with the strikers the better,” as opposed to the culé club's “quality, spectacle and good football.”

"Italy here we come!"

Mundo Deportivo are quite beside themselves, with Joan Josep Pallàs calling the Champions League clash “the most important that Barça have played in their 109 years.”

On its website, MD is updating a minute-by-minute account of the day with the first post at 07.23 noting that a large number of fans are flying to Rome that morning.

After putting up some links to opinion polls in the paper, the YTS student in charge of the column appears to have given up the ghost on the section at 08.55... or gone for the traditional second breakfast.

AS are getting into the spirit of the occasion with editor Alfredo Relaño poking his stick into camp culé for the evening. “Despite everything, I see Barça as favourites as they play good football, extremely good football.”

Barking mad Madrid fan Tomás Roncero will not hear of such crazy talk and claims that he and “99.9 percent of Madridistas will be with Rooney and Ronaldo tonight,” while scoffing that Real won their third European Cup – something Barcelona are trying to achieve tonight – some 51 years ago.

Third time lucky in 1958

Marca attempt to get into the Champions League mood with Wednesday’s editorial lauding “the best final possible between the two best teams in the world.”

But Marca being Marca, the paper also finds time to throw some praise in Raúl’s direction by berating the 11 percent of Madrid members who want to turf the club captain out of Castle Greyskull, according to the paper’s opinion poll on the topic.

“He doesn’t deserve that,” fumes the paper. “He is the most professional, most serious and most committed player in the side.”

Raúl was also the second best player in the last round of action, according to the paper’s season-long ‘Raul-award’ vote.

But despite the Madrid captain’s fine, match-winning performance against Mallorca in the awful 3-1 defeat, he is still one place behind Leo Messi in the overall rankings - a position that the judges may well be ‘adjusting’ at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world will be watching God's chosen ones vs Vinnie Jones's Crazy Gang.

Just don't blame La Liga Loca if the dream final's a disappointment.

--------------------------------------------- More to read...

NEWS: Ronaldo - United have practised penalties
Xavi - Barca have not practised penalties

NEWS: Thompson: Barca to beat United on penalties
NEWS: Carrick confident of conquering Catalans
NEWS: Sheringham tips Reds to reign in Rome
NEWS: Henry and Iniesta train ahead of final
NEWS: Evra - Marking Messi will be easy peasy
NEWS: Messi - Classy Catalans deserve to win in Rome
NEWS: Rijkaard: United have got no chance
NEWS: Rio's Rome hopes hinge on Hull
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NEWS: All white on the night for Reds in Rome

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