Uefa clears Busquets to face United at Wembley

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The Independent Online

Sergio Busquets is free to play for Barcelona against Manchester United in the Champions League final after Uefa said there was a "lack of strong and convincing evidence" following accusations that he racially abused Real Madrid's Marcelo.

Real had complained to Uefa that during the first leg of the semi-final between the two teams, Busquets had racially abused left-back Marcelo. A video was posted on Real Madrid's website, which was alleged to show Busquets mouthing the words "mono, mono", Spanish for "monkey, monkey", to Marcelo. Uefa opened disciplinary proceedings against Busquets last week but released a statement yesterday announcing that the Spanish midfielder would not be banned.

Busquets will now be able to face Manchester United in the final at Wembley on 28 May. It will be the 22-year-old's second Champions League final, after the 2-0 victory over United in Rome in 2009.

He has also won three Spanish championships, one Copa del Rey and one Club World Cup for Barcelona, as well as the World Cup with Spain last year in a hugely successful start to his young career to date.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said that it would be "very hard" to beat United in the forthcoming final. "Manchester United are extraordinarily strong, very similar to Real Madrid," he said. "They are a hard-working side and it's very hard to hurt them."

Guardiola, who has overseen one of the most successful spells in Barcelona's history since taking over as coach in 2008, is worried about United's ability to score on the counter-attack.

"We have to be very careful because they can score against you on the break," he said. "We have to know how to interpret the final, depending on how they play, and play the game on our terms."

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