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Fergie traumatised by Messi's slaughter

Manchester United were 'mesmerised' by Lionel Messi and his Barcelona pals during Saturday's Champions League final, and club manager Sir Alex Ferguson appeared and probably felt quite 'traumatised' by the 3-1 result.

sports Updated: May 30, 2011 19:27 IST

Manchester United were 'mesmerised' by Lionel Messi and his Barcelona pals during Saturday's Champions League final, and club manager Sir Alex Ferguson appeared and probably felt quite 'traumatised' by the 3-1 result.

Fergie knows now that as long as Man of the Match Lionel Messi is wearing the Barca shirt, the best United can ever hope for is to be Europe's bridesmaids, The Sun reports.

When it was suggested United could never match Barca, 69 year old Fergie said, "You shouldn't be afraid of a challenge. It's no consolation being the second best team. I don't enjoy being second best. Next season we must improve even more."

So, on he goes into his 26th year in charge at Old Trafford, to the astonishment of Barca coach Pep Guardiola. Guardiola will quit next summer, after just four years at the helm, because he thinks his players will get tired of hearing the same message from the same bloke.

Barca began in the same vein against the same opponents in Wembley, as they did in Rome in 2009.

While Man U chased and harried, they gave Barca no time on the ball and forced them into errors, Guardiola's men soaked it up, let United run themselves out, then got on with systematically picking them apart.

The debate afterwards was whether any of the United side would have got into Barca's line up. Rooney was the only candidate as far as the foreign media were concerned.