With apologies to Lionel Messi, the most high-profile player at Wembley Stadium will not be playing for Barcelona.

Wayne Rooney, for all of his highs and lows, is the main playmaker for either team. Should Rooney have a big game, the Red Devils have a great chance to prevail in the Champions League Final on Saturday.

Rooney has grown into more of a team player this season, and it has made him a more valuable attacker than ever.

Last season, Rooney went on a great goal-scoring run, netting 34 goals in 42 starts over all competitions, but managed only six assists in those 42 games.

Landon Donovan pointed out during the buildup to the U.S.-England World Cup match, that Rooney was fatigued, and the season wore on him. It appeared that Donovan was right, as Rooney didn't seem like he was himself.

In the beginning of the 2010-2011 season, Rooney continued to lag. He was misdirecting passes, many of his shots were off target, and he had trouble executing plays.

In October, Rooney surprised many and went public about leaving the team. This led to a possible transfer in January, and suddenly things became tumultuous at Old Trafford. The club feared Rooney's transfer valuation might plummet since he was 20 months away from becoming a free agent.

What spurred the transfer talk was a fallout between Rooney and manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Days later, Rooney signed a five-year deal, while recovering from an ankle injury.

When January rolled around, it was like a whole new Rooney. He played with inspiration, and his energetic style sparked his teammates, particularly young forward Javier Hernandez. This season, Rooney has 13 assists, more than twice the amount of assists than last season, and did it 35 games -- seven less than in 2009-2010.

Rooney has shown moments of brilliance as well, like his devastating overhead volley against Manchester City, for which he dedicated to the fans.

Most importantly, it seems like Rooney has turned over a new leaf.

When at times it seemed like he seemed to play with a chip on his shoulder, and with an arrogant sense of entitlement, this season, Rooney has had the least amount of yellow cards of his career, and his enthusiasm is spreading to his teammates.

When Manchester United step onto the field on Saturday, they will be playing with a true leader on the Wembley Stadium grass.

Rooney might not be the most talented player in the world, but he's probably the most passionate.