Wayne Rooney hailed Andres Iniesta as the 'best player in the world' after Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0 in the UEFA Champions League final.
Iniesta, who had been doubtful for the game, pulled the strings in midfield as Barca outplayed the 2008 winners in the Rome showpiece.
Much of the build-up before the game centred on the battle between United winger Cristiano Ronaldo and his Barca rival Lionel Messi to prove who is the game's leading light.
However, United forward Rooney believes the talents of Iniesta should lead to the Spanish midfielder being labelled the world's best footballer.
"Barcelona are a brilliant team and in my opinion Andres Iniesta is the best player in the world, he's incredible," said Rooney.
"They're a great team, pass the ball well and if you don't take your chances, they will punish you. That is what happened.
"We're still a young team and we can come back I hope.
"It is very disappointing and the feeling at the moment is not a good one. We are hurting. But we have to forget it and look forward to next season."
Samuel Eto'o and Messi scored Barca's goals and Rooney had no complaints with the outcome as United failed to secure a Quadruple.
He added: "It is a big disappointment, but Barcelona were the better team.
"They deserved to win. I've never played against a better team than this Barcelona. They're a brilliant team.
"Barcelona scored two good goals and unfortunately for us, they came at good times. That made it very difficult for us."