Barcelona deserve to win final says Messi

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The Independent Football

Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi believes that Barcelona 'deserve' to win the Champions League Final.

The tournament's eight-goal leading scorer believes Barca deserve to overcome Manchester United in Rome next week because they suffered more in reaching the showpiece.

Referring to his side's dramatic stoppage-time success over Chelsea in the semi-finals, he said: "We were suffering right up until stoppage time at Stamford Bridge. But that's one more proof that we deserve to win the Champions League.

"The fact we beat Chelsea, and the manner in which we did it, shows Barcelona aren't just a good team - we have impressive mental strength too.

"In Spain, Chelsea gave us no space. They put four or five men in defence and we couldn't score past them. But that didn't make us give up.

"We were at their place and we were losing from early on but we gave them a fight right to the end.

"That last move was just glorious - my heart nearly exploded when I saw Andreas Iniesta's shot go in."

Real Madrid have decided to dispense with the services of sporting director Predrag Mijatovic.

The 40-year-old former Yugoslavia and Serbia & Montenegro international joined the Real support staff in the summer of 2006, having played for the Bernabeu club for three years in the 1990s.

A statement on the club's official website read: “Real Madrid's board of directors and the club's sporting director, Pedja Mijatovic, have reached a mutual agreement for the termination of the latter's contract, which was originally set to end in June 2010.

“The board wishes to express its most sincere gratitude for the work he has done in the past three seasons, during which the club won two league titles and one Spanish SuperCopa.

“Real Madrid and its board wish Mijatovic all the best in his future personal and professional endeavours.”

Sevilla goalkeeper Andres Palop has called for a truce in the criticism aimed at coach Manolo Jimenez.

Jimenez is rumoured to be on his way out of the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan this summer following a disappointing season.

But Palop has called for everybody concerned with the club to focus on the final two games of the season as the Andalucian club looks to secure a Champions League place.

"A lot has been said about the coach and right now we are in a very important sporting moment," he said.

"We are two games from the end of the season and we will see how the team finishes. After that, it is left for the directors and they will be the ones to decide."