‘Barca will make final memorable’ | india | Hindustan Times
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‘Barca will make final memorable’

In an exclusive e-mail interview to the HT, Redknapp junior, now an expert with Sky Sports, spoke about his days at Tottenham Hotspurs and Champions League final between Manchester United and Barcelona to be held on May 27, reports Abhishek Hore.

india Updated: May 16, 2009 00:06 IST
Abhishek Hore

Cristiano Ronaldo may not figure in Lionel Messi’s World XI, but former England international and Liverpool’s midfield maestro Jamie Redknapp, said there isn’t much to choose between the two and both are expected to play an important role when Manchester United meet Barcelona for the Champions League on May 27. In an exclusive e-mail interview to the

HT

, Redknapp junior, now an expert with

Sky Sports

spoke about his days at Tottenham Hotspurs where father Harry is now in charge.

Excerpts:

Will it be Manchester United or Barcelona on May 27?

Barcelona will miss (Eric) Abidal and, definitely (Dani) Alves, whose pace really helps Messi contribute to the team. There are others likes Xavi (Hernendez), (Andres) Iniesta, Ronaldo and (Wayne) Rooney. A lot of the build-up will focus on Messi versus Ronaldo and who the best player of the world at the moment is.

Will it be a better final then United versus Chelsea in 2008?

Yes, I do think it will be a better final. Barca play better football. I am sure they’ll make it an occasion to remember. On the standard of refereeing in Europe, you said “We should have referees from the top leagues in Europe --- Germany, Italy — for big games”.

I’m not saying that you can’t be a good referee just because you don’t come from England, Germany or Italy, although I question whether a referee who only officiates in the Norwegian league is really up to the job. Obviously we couldn’t have had an English or Spanish referee for that game (Barcelona versus Chelsea Champions League semifinal which Norwegian Tom Ovrebo officiated) but what we do need is the best man for the job. There were lots and lots of bad decisions in that game.

How has Tottenham Hotspurs changed from when you started your playing career there?

I’m probably biased but I think it was the best decision to get my dad (Harry Redknapp) to manage the club. When he joined, Spurs had only 2 points in 8 games and were heading in the wrong direction. Harry’s helped to stabilise the club. If they can add one or two quality players in pre-season I certainly think that they could be a top-six club in the Premier League.

How good are the players of Indian origin playing in second and third division English leagues?

Michael Chopra has had a good career for Sunderland. There are one or two others playing in the lower leagues but definitely not enough. I’ve also heard that there is a young Bangladeshi boy who is said to be a fantastic talent while Chelsea have recently launched a search at the club to find a new star of Indian origin.

Jamie Redknapp interacted at a Barclays Premier League media day.