Reina tells Barça to go on offensive

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The Independent Football

Pepe Reina, the Liverpool goalkeeper, yesterday urged Barcelona to follow his club's example and go after Manchester United from the first whistle in the Champions League final next Wednesday.

Reina, who was on the winning side twice against Sir Alex Ferguson's team this season, said: "The key was to not be afraid and take them on head-first. That is how you do them the most damage. I believe Barça will play this way and, of course, I hope it works for them. I want the Spanish side to win and I don't want our closest rivals to collect another title."

Reina warned Barcelona that controlling Cristiano Ronaldo and limiting his free-kicks would be the key. "Wherever Ronaldo plays he causes problems," Reina said. "He will have plenty of freedom to go where he wants to. You have to be careful with his free-kicks because he hits the ball so well. You never know where the ball will end up until the last instant – I have suffered because of that."

Reina believes the defender Rio _Ferdinand's return to the United side will also be key if they are to become the first side to retain the Champions League.

He added: "The are very solid at the back. As well as Edwin van der Sar they have two superb centre-halves in Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. They are very good in the air and they cover the full-backs well when they go forward."