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UEFA Champions League Final, 2011: Lionel Messi Earns Man Of The Match Award

Lionel Messi has won the man of the match award for the 2011 UEFA Champions League final at Wembley after his Barcelona team destroyed Premier League champions Manchester United. Messi caused chaos all evening, ripping through the likes of Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs, proving nigh on unstoppable for even the best defenders on the planet. Challenge him, he dances past. Stand off, and he shoots (which is how he scored the eventual winning goal). Messi at his best is somewhere between unplayable and unfair, and he was at his best against United.

I don't think anybody could reasonably argue that the award wasn't well deserved, although both of Dani Alves and Xavi Hernandez played spectacular games of football as well. They just weren't Lionel Messi-good, and the little magician was on fire tonight. Is there anyone still seriously doubting that he's the best in the world and worthy of being talked about with the all-time greats?

For news, opinion, and feature articles leading up to the UEFA Champions League final, bookmark this StoryStream and check it often. We'll have new posts right here throughout the week, during the game, and after the game. For more on the entire world of footy, check out SB Nation Soccer. Manchester United fans should head over to The Busby Babe, while Barcelona fans should check out Barca Blaugranes.