Don’t Believe the Hype (Barcelona vs Manchester United)

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Michael Owen helps United avenge Champions League Final. What a joke. For some reason, people buy into this media hype of United and Barcelona really taking this friendly game in the United States, part of tours for both sides in which the main goal is to generate TONS of AMERICAN cash while giving players some playing time and a chance for new teammates to gel.

Michael Owen got to put his name on another irrelevant victory as one of the most promising careers for an English striker continues to march slowly towards a too early end. Besides that? A nice goal by Thiago, nearly 82,000 fans, and that’s it. This game won’t affect United, it won’t affect Barcelona. We didn’t see Lionel Messi, no Xavi, no Alexis Sanchez. United did play with something more similar to their strongest lineup, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t give anything close to 100%.

But it’s been over two months without club soccer for the global fans. The Copa America wasn’t even close to an appetaizer or filling desert, depends on how you look at it. These mega friendly matches between the two best clubs in Europe last season, the two teams who played each other in the Champions League final for the second time in three years, generate more and more interest (and money) each year. The American market is growing, and it’s nearly August. The body knows it should get real football real soon, and each hint of the coming season gets us more amped.

But please, don’t buy into the notion that the match at Fedex field yesterday was some sort of grudge match or revenge game or whatever. A friendly (unlike in other sports, where there is no such thing as a friendly), mostly to raise money. Nothing more.