Barcelona captain Carles Puyol was on the bench for the Champions League final against Manchester United on Saturday at the end of an injury-plagued season.
After undergoing knee injury, the defender has played just three matches since January and last featured in the May 3 semifinal victory over Real Madrid.
Instead of Puyol, midfielder Javier Mascherano dropped into central defense, with Dani Alves and Gerard Pique also at the back.
Xavi Hernandez captained the Spanish champions.
But Eric Abidal did start at left back, having successfully recovered from surgery to remove a tumor from his liver.
Manchester United found no place for striker Dimitar Berbatov even on the bench despite finishing the domestic season as the Premier League's joint top scorer.
Javier Hernandez was to end his first season at United partnering Wayne Rooney up front.
Both United and Barcelona are chasing their fourth European titles.
Barcelona: Victor Valdes, Dani Alves, Javier Mascherano, Gerard Pique, Eric Abidal, Xavi Hernandez, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Pedro Rodriguez, Lionel Messi, David Villa. Substitutes: Oier Olazabal, Carles Puyol, Seydou Keita, Adriano, Thiago Alcantara, Ibrahim Afellay, Bojan Krcic.
Manchester United: Edwin van der Sar, Fabio da Silva, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Antonio Valencia, Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs, Park Ji-sung, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez. Substitutes: Tomasz Kuszczak, Michael Owen, Anderson, Chris Smalling, Nani, Paul Scholes, Darren Fletcher.