One can only imagine that the likes of Romario, Michael Laudrup, Hristo Stoichkov, Ronald Koeman and Gheorghe Hagi must have been grinning from ear to ear after Wednesday’s game, confident in the knowledge that the current crop of Barcelona players are worthy of having the Dream Team moniker bestowed upon them.
Barcelona's victory was a result that marked the official coronation of team that many football correspondents have been saying for months is the best on the planet, including this one, who reached that conclusion after seeing the blaugrana play some stunningly gorgeous football during a recent vacation in Spain.
How fitting that the Eternal City was the site of a sporting spectacle that more closely resembled the Christians being fed to the lions than a clash between the reigning football champions of Spain and England.
Indeed, the wheat was separated from the chaff. Or, as the Brits say, the cat was put among the pigeons. Only in this case, the cat ate the little buggers whole.
It would be charitable to say Manchester United, the defending Champions League holders, were soundly beaten by Barcelona. That doesn't aptly describe what took place. To do it proper justice, the brutal truth must be laid bare, and here it is: United were humiliated, totally outplayed and outclassed by the best - and most entertaining - club in the world.
The supposed impenetrable duo of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, touted as the best defensive paring in the business? Made to look like recreation league hoofers by Barcelona's attacking trio of Samuel Eto'o, Lionel Messi and Thierry Henry.
United's Cristiano Ronaldo, last year's FIFA world player of the year? Overshadowed by Messi, the Argentine ace who has clearly supplanted the Portuguese as the game's best player.
And what of the wily Sir Alex Ferguson, the master tactician? Outwitted and out-coached by Pep Guardiola who, at 38, became the third youngest manager to win the Champions League trophy in the 54-year history of the competition.
After disposing of the French and German champions (Lyon and Bayern Munich) in the second round and quarter-finals, and turning back the challenge of London giants Chelsea in the semifinal, Barcelona saved its best performance for last, dismantling United and leaving no doubt that talent and skill will always overcome power and strength.
Incredible win for Barcelona
Make no mistake about it folks: the significance of what Barcelona achieved in Rome was truly incredible, and can't be overstated.
In all of their insufferable hubris, the British press had all but handed United the trophy before a ball was even kicked, confident that the likes of Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez would have a field day against a Barcelona squad that was missing three of its four starting defenders.
What those same journalists failed to realize was that much like United, Barcelona has demonstrated great character and a remarkable will to win this past season, even when defeat seemed imminent.
Rooney, Giggs, Ronaldo and Tevez were comfortably contained, nay, reduced to helpless pedestrians who could do nothing more than watch the game whiz by them at the speed of light right before their eyes, such was the extent to which the Catalans controlled the pace of the contest with their free-flowing brand of football.
Plaudits and praise must be lavished upon Guardiola who, despite being deprived of the services of defenders Dani Alves, Eric Abidal and Rafa Marquez, did not resort to anti-football and ultra-defensive tactics by putting as many bodies behind the ball.
Having to rely on a makeshift defence, few would have blamed Guardiola if he decided to play it safe and take a more conservative approach.
But that's not the Barcelona way.
Guardiola, a key member of the original Dream Team, remained true to his attacking philosophy and stuck to his tactical guns. The result? His team mopped the floor with United, dominating their English counterparts with a clinical display of expert passing, exquisite ball control and "Total Football."
Unlike Chelsea in the semifinal, United did not blame the referees or claim that some sort of UEFA conspiracy against English teams as reasons for falling short against Barcelona. As Ferguson told Sky Sports after the game, "the better team simply won."
More than anything, Barcelona's win served as further affirmation of the strength of Spanish football.
Yes, Messi and Eto'o scored the goals, and kudos to the Argentine and Cameroonian for asking serious questions of the United defence all night with their probing play.
But this was a win truly made in Spain - from the inspiring play of captain and proud Catalan Carlos Puyol, the prowess of fellow defender Gerard Pique, the grit and steel provided by Sergi Busquets, to the creativity and invention of midfield maestros Andreas Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez.
Premiership myth dispelled
One last thing: I do hope that Wednesday night's display dispels the great myth about the Premiership dominating the Champions League.
Nobody can seriously doubt the Premiership is head and shoulders above the likes of La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga when it comes to world-wide popularity, TV ratings and wealth, but that hasn't translated into European success for the English.
English supporters point to the fact England has had three teams in the semifinals for the past three seasons, and at least one team in the final for the last five years running, as evidence of the Premiership's recent domination of the Champions League.
I counter by pointing out that Spanish teams have won four Champions League titles in the past decade (2000-2009), double the amount English teams have won in the same period of time - and had A.C. Milan not spectacularly collapsed and threw away a 3-0 lead in Istanbul, England would only have one Champions League title to boast about since 2000.
History remembers the winners, not those who finish runners-up.
English domination? I think not.
Viva Espana! Viva Catalonia! Viva Barcelona!
Do you have improvements to suggest for this page?