Posted May. 28, 2009 05:46,
Soccer fans in Korea had little sleep last night as they watched the final of the UEFA Champions League between Manchester United of England and FC Barcelona of Spain.
Kickoff time was 3:45 a.m. Korean Standard Time. Barca frustrated defending champion United to claim the crown, 2-0.
The match between the champions of the English and Spanish pro leagues kept many Koreans up. Lights remained on at many apartments, while fans flocked together at bars to watch the game and talk soccer.
Koreans were eager to see United midfielder and native son Park Ji-sung make history by becoming the first Korean and Asian to play in a Champions League final. Park played 66 minutes in the losing cause.
The showdown between United`s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barca`s Lionel Messi, who is dubbed the next Maradona, also sparked interest. Ronaldo had 18 goals in the English Premier League and four goals in the Champions League. Messi scored 23 goals in the Primera Liga and eight in the Champions League.
Messi`s header in the 70th minute secured Barca`s third European title and second in four years.