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GETTING THE VOTE ... Rio Ferdinand at the White House
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MANCHESTER UNITED have had to suffer at the hands of Barcelona in two Champions League finals. But they finally put one over the Catalan giants here in Washington yesterday.

While the Barca players were moved on for jogging outside the White House, Alex Ferguson and his United players and staff received an invite inside.

President Barack Obama was too busy to meet them as he sorts out America's massive debt problems. But they were still allowed to wander around the most famous house in the world - defender Rio Ferdinand even had time to tweet a picture from inside.

Boss Fergie said: "It was fantastic, we all enjoyed it. It was fascinating."I'd been before but it still excites. It's such a historic and incredible place. We all enjoyed it - it was good."
Barca and United go head-to-head in DC late tomorrow night.

And security chiefs put the boot into the Catalans' preparations in the grounds of the President's residence.

Barcelona wanted to go for a run and a stretch - but protocol does not allow large groups to get together so close to the building.

Midfielder Xavi revealed: "We were told no more than 10-15 could train at a time so we decided to turn back and train at the hotel instead."

But while United have been parading their Premier League silverware during their USA tour, Barca touched down stateside with the big one.The Champions League trophy was gleaming at Washington's Ritz Carlton yesterday - the prize the La Liga outfit have denied United in two of the last three finals.

Ferguson would love a win over Pep Guardiola here - although Barcelona will be without Lionel Messi.

The United boss said: "They are the best team currently in the world. I'm quite happy to be in second place. But our challenge is to get to that level.

"It's not just about the football team - it's the philosophy, how they coach, how they produce young players.

"We have the same drive ourselves to produce young players. If I thought they'd play all their young players on Saturday then I'd play all mine and it would be a fascinating game."

For United defender Patrice Evra, it almost seems personal.

He said: "I give Barcelona a lot of respect but I'd like to play against them again in the Champions League final and win because I've already lost twice and it's very painful."
Source: thesun.co.uk

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