Barca put hopes in out-playing the champions

MADRID: Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola believes that Manchester United are the best team in the world but he is confident that if his team are able to dominate possession then they can pass their way to success.

Guardiola's side reached the final in Rome by the skin of their teeth after beating Chelsea through an injury-time strike by Andres Iniesta, and he expects a similar battle against United.

"We are a top side and we showed that when we went to Real Madrid and won 6-2 when some people said it didn't matter if we win or not with the lead we had in the table, but that is not the way I think and it showed the ambition of the team," Guardiola told a press conference at the Nou Camp.

"We now face Manchester United who are the best team in the world and if we do not believe in our chances then there is a 110 percent chance that we will not win.

"I cannot say how this game will finish but we will try and keep the ball as much as possible and play our usual attacking match.

"At this level, we are playing the final of the Champions League, there is very little to pick between the sides, last year it was decided on penalties and it will be similar this year. All the teams at the top have a similar level and you could say Chelsea deserve to be here too."

Guardiola is expecting another physical battle like the semi-final against Chelsea.

"This is one of the most important games of my life, to coach a team in the final, but it is going to be tough. I don't know in which way you would say they are better, in defence they are very strong with (Nemanja) Vidic, (Rio) Ferdinand and (John) O'Shea, but they also know how to hold the ball and attack," he explained.

"Chelsea were stronger than us and so are United who also have a lot of quick players like (Cristiano) Ronaldo and Rooney. There are definitely going to be difficult moments in the game, I am still watching some of their matches and working out how to approach it.

"It is a great honour for me personally to face Alex Ferguson, he has a great record as a coach."

Barcelona will be weakened by the loss of full-backs Dani Alves and Eric Abidal through suspension but they are hoping that Inesta and Thierry Henry will overcome injuries in time.

"We will not know until Monday or Tuesday whether they are going to be fit and the loss of Alves and Abidal is a big loss but we will do what we can and see if it is enough," he said.

Argentine winger Lionel Messi believes that Barca deserve to lift the Champions League for the football they have played this season. He denied though that the team would be going out looking for revenge after being knocked out of the competition by United last season.

"A lot of people have admired our matches and I think we would merit winning it for our performances so far but it is a one-off match. We are not looking to get our own back and our big incentive is to make history in this team," said Messi.

"We have great players here and we just have to continue performing the way we have all season. I am relaxed looking ahead to the game."

Messi denied that English teams have the edge over Barcelona, playing a game based more on strength and athleticism.

"They have their own style of football which is very physical but we have had our own successes against them," he said.

"I don't think the game against Manchester will be like the Chelsea match. They play a very different game to Chelsea, it is more open and I think it will be better to watch for the fans.

"This will be a final between the two best teams, I don't think there is a favourite but if I had to pick one I would say Manchester because they are the reigning champions."