FOOTBALL: EUROPEAN CUP FINAL - MANCHESTER UNITED
Wednesday 26 May 1999
Age 57, Scotland
On the brink of equalling Sir Matt Busby's greatest achievement, having matched his five domestic titles earlier this month with a similar mix of talented youth products and expensive imports. An aggresive centre- forward whose playing career peaked with brief spell at Rangers in the late 1960s, he moved into management at East Stirlingshire and St Mirren. Successful spell at Aberdeen, including the 1983 European Cup-Winners' Cup, attracted Manchester United, whose board have been rewarded for standing by him during initial struggles with 11 trophies this decade.
LIKELY STARTING LINE-UP
Playing his last match for United after eight memorable seasons. Past his peak but still a formidable presence and in much better form than when making the mistake, in Munich, which kept Bayern in the tournament.
Finishing the season strongly after a rare dip in his consistency during the spring. Cool head, reads the game well, becoming increasingly influential in attack, especially in tandem with Beckham.
Derided for poor start to season after pounds 10m signing from PSV Eindhoven, but has become one of United's strong men. Sees attacks early and stays on his feet well. Troubled by Achilles injury.
If he plays, it will be because of Henning Berg's injury and the need to play Ronny Johnsen in midfield. United fan who began at Blackburn and is wholehearted, if prone to lapses in concentration.
33, Rep of Ireland
Dependable left-back approaching the veteran stage. The only survivor from United's European Cup- Winners' Cup success of 1991. Penalty- taker and free-kick expert.
Triumphant season which began in ignomy after World Cup dismissal and will end in the wedding of the year to Victoria, aka Posh Spice, this summer. Been in outstanding form all season. Potential match-winner.
Reliable defender likely to move into midfield to cover for suspended pair of Keane and Scholes and keep an eye on Stefan Effenberg. Useful at set-pieces with unexpected penchant for running at defenders.
In and out all season but now given chance to command midfield in the absence of both Keane and Scholes. Gritty tackler, neat passer and an under-estimated influence who needs to regain his youthful eye for goal.
Devastating at his best, which is often in a European arena providing the challenge denied him at international level. May play in centre but likely to start on wing. Reputedly terrifies Bayern.
27, Trinidad & Tobago
Fully justified pounds 12.6m fee at home and abroad, notably against Internazionale. Quick-thinking and quick-footed, though his form has dipped. Twenty-nine goals this season, only three in last 13 games.
Another whose form has dipped but his championship-clinching goal against Spurs, his 24th of the season, underlined his improved composure. Good link-up player who has developed a fine understanding with Yorke.
Coming good when it matters with fine FA Cup final display. Aerial strength and ability to find space and team-mates likely to earn him some involvement, possibly from the start.
OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER
Began more matches on the bench than on the field but still scored 17 times. Solid FA Cup final display gives Ferguson another option.
Useful squad player yet to find best form since pounds 4.5m summer move from Parma. Could start if Ferguson moves Beckham or Giggs to centre. Good crosser, could score more.
Regaining best form despite impact of his rejection from England's World Cup squad and his inability to gain a regular place. Possible but unlikely starter in midfield.
THE ROUTE TO BARCELONA
First qualifying round
Progressed with a bye
Second qualifying round
Man Utd 2 LKS Lodz (Pol) 0
LKS Lodz 0 Man Utd 0
Man Utd won 2-0 on aggregate
Champions' League Group D
Man Utd 3 Barcelona 3
Bayern Munich 2 Man Utd 2
Brondby 2 Man Utd 6
Man Utd 5 Brondby 0
Barcelona 3 Man Utd 3
Man Utd 1 Bayern Munich 1
Man Utd finished second in group
Man Utd 2 Internazionale 0
Internazionale 1 Man Utd 1
Man Utd won 3-1 on aggregate
Man Utd 1 Juventus 1
Juventus 2 Man Utd 3
Man Utd won 4-3 on aggregate
European Cup record 1998-99
P12 W5 D7 L0 F29 A15
Yorke 8, Giggs 5, Cole 5, Scholes 4, Keane 3, Beckham 2 Solskjaer 1, P Neville 1.
Previous name: Newton Heath.
Nickname: Red Devils.
Stadium: Old Trafford.
Record crowd: 70,604 v Aston Villa (December 1927).
Club membership: 150,000.
Supporters' branches: 202.
Season ticket prices: pounds 304-pounds 418.
First colours: Red, white and black.
Change strip: All white.
Price of replica kit: Adult shirt, pounds 45; shorts, pounds 23; socks, pounds 7. Total: pounds 75.00.
Web site: http://www.ManUtd.com
Celeb supporters: Mick Hucknall, Zoe Ball, Angus Deayton.
Quality merchandise: Toothpaste, popcorn, cakes, ketchup.
Honours: League titles: 15.
FA Cups: 10. League Cups: 1.
European Cup: Winners,1968.
Cup-Winners' Cup: Winners, 1991.
European Super Cup: Winners, 1991.
Last European Cup final appearance: 1968 v Benfica. Won 4-1 at Wembley.
Most capped player: Bobby Charlton, 106 caps.
Most expensive signing: Dwight Yorke. pounds 12.5m from Aston Villa in September 1998.
Current foreign players: 9.
1998-99 record in all competitions: P62 W35 D22 L5
Goals for: 124.
Goals against: 59.
Leading scorer: Dwight Yorke (27).
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