Tag Archives: devils

Nemanja Vidic wants Cristiano Ronaldo back at Manchester United

Vidic: Don't rule out Ronaldo's return to Old Trafford after he's done at the Bernabeu

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

01:09 GMT, 5 March 2013

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UPDATED:

01:09 GMT, 5 March 2013

Nemanja Vidic has refused to rule out the possibility that he could one day be reunited with Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United.

The Red Devils centre back will face off against his former team-mate when Sir Alex Ferguson’s men take on Real Madrid at Old Trafford in the second leg of the last-16 Champions League tie.

But despite his manager claiming the prospect of Ronaldo return in the red of United is implausible, Vidic believes it is a possibility.

Facing off: Nemanja Vidic (right) and Cristiano Ronaldo (left) will play against one another on Tuesday

Facing off: Nemanja Vidic (right) and Cristiano Ronaldo (left) will play against one another on Tuesday

Not impossible: Ronaldo could return to Old Trafford, according to his former team-mate Vidic

Not impossible: Ronaldo could return to Old Trafford, according to his former team-mate Vidic

The 31-year-old Serbian told the Daily Telegraph: ‘I could see it [Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United]. He is a United supporter and he still follows United, he still misses the club and the environment here, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him come back.

‘It would be a big ask for many reasons, but I would love to see him here.

‘I don’t know what atmosphere he has at Madrid, so I can’t really talk about that, but all I can say is that I enjoyed playing with him, he enjoyed it here and it will be great to see him.’

Vidic also believes that the Portugal captain is on par with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who has beaten Ronaldo to the Ballon d’Or four years in a row.

On par: Vidic believes Ronaldo (right) is as good as Lionel Messi (left)

On par: Vidic believes Ronaldo (right) is as good as Lionel Messi (left)

He added: 'They are different players, totally different.

'But in recent years, Barcelona have won everything and I think that is why people have put Ronaldo to one side.

'I have played with him and trained with him and I know how many sacrifices he made to be where he is.'

Happy times: Ronaldo (right) celebrates alongside Vidic (left) during his Manchester United days

Happy times: Ronaldo (right) celebrates alongside Vidic (left) during his Manchester United days

Rio Ferdinand expected to follow Ryan Giggs and sign Manchester United contract extension

Ferdinand set to follow Giggs in signing new United contract despite interest from the States and Far East

.

Old guard: Rio Ferdinand (left) is likely to join Ryan Giggs in signing a contract extension at Manchester United

Old guard: Rio Ferdinand (left) is likely to join Ryan Giggs in signing a contract extension at Manchester United

Ferdinand seems more likely to sign yet so far, the 34-year-old has still to commit himself, amid rumours of interest from the US, China and the cash-rich Far East.

However, Ferguson is confident Ferdinand will remain at Old Trafford.

'That is a strong possibility,' he said. 'It would have to happen before the end of the season.'

Ferdinand is managing a long-standing back complaint and his performances this season suggest he still has a major role to play with the Red Devils, even if England boss Roy Hodgson is not interested.

He is virtually certain to be involved against Real Madrid on Tuesday, when United look to secure their place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Stalwart: Ferdinand joined United in 2002 and has been a regular since

Stalwart: Ferdinand joined United in 2002 and has been a regular since

'I think he has had a great season,' said Ferguson.

'He has managed himself the right way and we have contributed to that in the preparation we give him.

'He doesn't play every game in the same way that Ryan doesn't play every game.

'But in terms of key matches he has been absolutely brilliant.

'Two weeks ago, against Real Madrid, he was excellent so we need to get him ready for the big one on Tuesday.'

Cristiano Ronaldo warms-up for Man United clash with 33 minute hat-trick for Real Madrid

Bring on Fergie and United! Ronaldo warms-up for Euro clash with 33 minute hat-trick for Real

By
Dave Wood

PUBLISHED:

22:39 GMT, 9 February 2013

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UPDATED:

01:19 GMT, 10 February 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo fired an ominous
warning to former club Manchester United with a hat-trick as Real Madrid
warmed up for their Champions League showdown against the Red Devils
with a 4-1 Primera Division win over Sevilla at the Bernabeu.

Matches against Sevilla have proved
rich pickings for Ronaldo and it was no different tonight as he followed
up Karim Benzema's 18th-minute opener with goals in the 26th, 46th and
59th minutes as Madrid sauntered to victory .

Special one: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (C) is congratulated by team mates Fabio Coentrao and Raul Albiol after scoring a goal against Sevilla

Special one: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (C) is congratulated by team mates Fabio Coentrao and Raul Albiol after scoring a goal against Sevilla

Cool finish: Ronaldo scores his goal under pressure of Sevilla's Federico Fazio

Cool finish: Ronaldo scores his goal under pressure of Sevilla's Federico Fazio

That took his tally of hat-tricks for the Spanish giants to an incredible 20 before he was replaced in the 63rd minute as Jose Mourinho opted to wrap his trump card in cotton wool ahead of Wednesday's visit of United in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 clash.

Granada, who stunned Mourinho's men last weekend with a 1-0 win courtesy of a Ronaldo own goal, continued where they left off against the champions this evening as they trounced Deportivo La Coruna 3-0 at the Riazor.

Carlos Marchena's own goal on the stroke of half-time set the visitors on their way and Ighalo's strike six minutes after the restart doubled their advantage.

Depor then missed a number of chances to get themselves back into the game and their night was summed up when they conceded a dubious penalty – converted by Guilherme Siqueira – in the last minute and saw Manuel Pablo sent off.

'For Madrid every game is special, but on Wednesday we have to be ready to meet the challenge,' said Madrid defender Pepe, who went on late for his first action since surgery on his right ankle in early January.

'Cristiano is playing well. He is working hard and we need him to keep it up.'

Three and easy: Ronaldo completes his hat-trick

Three and easy: Ronaldo completes his hat-trick

Off and running: Ronaldo claimed his 20th hat-trick

Up and running: Ronaldo claimed his 21st hat-trick

danger man: Ronaldo with a trademark free kick

Danger man: Ronaldo with a trademark free kick

Sir Alex Ferguson referee watch: Manchester United manager loses his temper briefly

Fergie ref watch: After his haranguing of Dean and co, how did Sir Alex behave on the touchline for clash against West Brom

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UPDATED:

01:24 GMT, 30 December 2012

It seemed like Sir Alex Ferguson was on his way to giving another set of officials the full treatment during Manchester United's 2-0 victory over West Brom at Old Trafford.

But although he did start shouting at assistant referee Andy Garrett over the award of a throw-in, he soon made up with him.

These pictures show the Red Devils boss giving Garrett an earful before later making him laugh, along with fourth official Phil Dowd.

Sir Alex Ferguson shouts at assistant referee Andy Garrett

Just joshing: Ferguson laughed with him afterwards

Making up: Sir Alex Ferguson shouts at assistant referee Andy Garrett… but then joked with him afterwards

Time for a chat: Garratt giggled while Ferguson chatted to fourth official Phil Dowd

Time for a chat: Garratt giggled while Ferguson chatted to fourth official Phil Dowd

The officials would have been wary
after the United manager's incredible rant at Mike Dean and his
assistants during the side's 4-3 win over Newcastle on Boxing Day.

He strode on to the pitch to harangue
Dean about Newcastle’s controversial second goal and then berated both a
linesman and the fourth official.

But because the referee did not
include the incidents in his match report he is believed to view
Ferguson’s comments as within the boundaries of reasonable
communication.

Dean did not report him because he did not feel there was abusive language or any questioning of his integrity.

Caught between a rock and a hard place: Dowd was sandwiched between Fergie and the United mascot

Caught between a rock and a hard place: Dowd was sandwiched between Fergie and the United mascot

Manager watch

Wenger v Pardew

Pardew was banned for shoving an assistant referee this term but kept his hands to himself yesterday. Wenger stayed seated.

Hughton v Mancini

While Hughton was a silent witness to defeat, Mancini was furious with Nasri's red card, though he was sanguine at the time.

Jol v Laudrup

Laudrup remained in control amid doubts over Fulham's goal. Jol knew he and his players were to blame for defeat.

Lambert v Martinez

Lambert kept cool despite another thrashing. His rival appeared annoyed by refereeing decisions but reined himself in.

McDermott v Allardyce

A feisty game but neither tangled with the officials. McDermott stood in his technical area while Big Sam stayed seated.

Pulis v Adkins

Both were animated but well behaved throuighout. Pulis was asked to retreat from the touchline in the second half, and did.

Martin O'Neill v AVB

Little to move Andre VIllas-Boas, who sat through most of the game. Martin O'Neill prowled his technical area as usual.

Manchester United 2 West Brom 0 – match report

Manchester United 2 West Brom 0: RVP climbs off bench to add gloss to narrow win

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UPDATED:

17:27 GMT, 29 December 2012

Robin van Persie's 17th goal of the season ensured Manchester United claimed yet another scalp on their march towards what they hope will be a 20th league title at Old Trafford.

Yet the performance of skipper Nemanja Vidic was equally notable, as he guided United to only their fourth Premier League clean sheet of the season after Gareth McAuley's early own goal had put the hosts in front against West Brom.

Plagued by injury for the past 16 months, and restored to the United line-up for the only the second time since his most recent knee operation, Serbian Vidic used all of his experience to ensure the hosts were not made to pay for a lacklustre second-half display.

Game over: Robin van Persie celebrates scoring his team's second goal

Game over: Robin van Persie celebrates scoring his team's second goal

MATCH FACTS

Man Utd: De Gea, Smalling, Vidic,
Evans, Evra, Carrick, Cleverley (Scholes 82), Valencia, Kagawa (Van Persie 65), Young, Welbeck.

Subs not used:
Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Giggs, Hernandez, Buttner.

Goals: McAuley 9 (og), Van Persie 90

Booked: Valencia

West
Brom: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Tamas, Ridgewell, Thorne, Brunt (Morrison 75),
Rosenberg (Lukaku 67), Dorrans (Fortune 83), Odemwingie, Long.

Subs not used: Myhill, El
Ghanassy, Jara Reyes, Dawson

Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LATEST PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE, FIXTURES AND RESULTS

And when Van Persie curled home a brilliant effort in the final minute, the Red Devils` handsome seven-point lead at the top of the table was preserved.

After all the furore around Ferguson's confrontation with Mike Dean on Boxing Day, mascot Fred the Red probably approached the United boss with a degree of trepidation as the pair met on the touchline prior to kick off.

The exchange was cordial, though, as was the jocular encounter between Ferguson and fourth official Phil Dowd shortly afterwards.

And once the match started, referee Jon Moss did little to get the United manager vexed, beyond an inexplicable free-kick against Tom Cleverley when the midfielder had been looking at a dropping ball on the edge of his own box when Billy Jones crashed into him.

/12/29/article-2254524-16AF5D93000005DC-775_634x384.jpg” width=”634″ height=”384″ alt=”Bullet: Van Persie climbed off the bench to seal all three points for United against West Brom” class=”blkBorder” />

Bullet: Van Persie climbed off the bench to seal all three points for United against West Brom

Vidic was wide with a couple of headers and Gabriel Tamas turned away Michael Carrick's goalbound shot.

The nearest United went to doubling their lead was when Young strode onto a deflected Antonio Valencia cross.

He hit it sweetly on the half volley, only for former Red Devils keeper Ben Foster to respond with a brilliant save, which earned his slice of good fortune when he shoved the ball onto the crossbar and over.

Provider: Ashley Young's cross was turned in by McAuley for the opening goal of the game

Provider: Ashley Young's cross was turned in by McAuley for the opening goal of the game

West Bromwich Albion's Gareth McAuley, second left, reacts after deflecting in a shot by Manchester United's Ashley Young, second right, for a own goal

Danny Welbeck – afforded a rare start in a central striking berth – and Shinji Kagawa – back for the first time since suffering a knee injury in October – both sparkled for the hosts, who were so obviously on top.

With a defence that has leaked so many goals this season, Ferguson would not have felt safe.

Yet the presence of Vidic offered some degree of comfort.

Steel: Nemanja Vidic helped shore up a previously leaky Unite defence

Steel: Nemanja Vidic helped shore up a previously leaky Unite defence

The Serbian has been absent so often over the past 15 months it has almost been forgotten what a calming influence he is.

His bravery is unquestioned too. And when Chris Brunt drilled a free-kick goalwards in the final throes of the opening period, it was no surprise Vidic should be the one to emerge from a crowd of bodies having headed it away.

However, with the clock ticking by and heavy rain continuing to pour down on a sodden surface that required a precautionary inspection a couple of hours before kick-off, United started to get stuck.

Doubt: The match at Old Trafford went ahead despite torrential rain prior to kick off

Doubt: The match at Old Trafford went ahead despite torrential rain prior to kick off

Young completely miskicked when Valencia's cross presented a golden opportunity on the hour, which offered a Baggies outfit already growing in self-belief more reason for optimism.

Had Brunt's piledriver been either side of David de Gea it surely would have brought the visitors level.

As it was, the shot went straight to the Spain keeper.

Friendly chat Sir Alex Ferguson with fourth official Phil Dowd and mascot Fred the Red

Friendly chat Sir Alex Ferguson with fourth official Phil Dowd and mascot Fred the Red

Little wonder Van Persie's arrival midway through the second period was greeted with such enthusiasm, underlining the Dutchman's influence since his summer move from Arsenal.

West Brom were in the mood, though.

And with United's passing becoming increasingly sloppy, they continued to push on with force.

Back in action: Shinji Kagawa made his return for United following an injury lay-off

Back in action: Shinji Kagawa made his return for United following an injury lay-off

Vidic needed to be in the right place to clear a Romelu Lukaku cross that threatened panic inside the United six-yard box and the sight of his fellow defenders throwing themselves at anything that moved, it had turned into an unedifying backs-to-the-wall effort so unlike the thrill-a-minute action this stadium has become used to.

Van Persie was denied by Foster with nine minutes remaining but the former England keeper could do nothing about the Dutchman's late shot, which curled expertly into the top corner from Paul Scholes' pass.

Wayne Rooney injured for three weeks with knee injury

Rooney sidelined for up to three weeks in blow for title-chasing United boss Ferguson

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UPDATED:

18:36 GMT, 26 December 2012

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will be sidelined for between two and three weeks after sustaining knee ligament damage in training.

The England forward was missing from the line up for the Red Devils' 4-3 victory over Newcastle today.

After his poor performance against Swansea on Sunday, Ferguson would have loved the hitman to come out swinging against Newcastle, but could not select him due to injury.

Sidelined: An injured Wayne Rooney watched on from an executive box at Old Trafford as United won 4-3

Sidelined: An injured Wayne Rooney watched on from an executive box at Old Trafford as United won 4-3

Will United miss Rooney

Opta statistics from the last two seasons of Premier League football indicate that Javier Hernandez will be able to step up to the mark in Rooney's absence.

Although he has scored under half the number of goals, his minutes per goal average is close to Rooney's.

This is because he has only started 22 games – exactly half of the number Rooney has.

Played
Goals
Min per goal
Van Persie
57
43
113.6
Rooney
48
34
115.4
Hernandez
40
16
124.0
Welbeck
43
10
257.9

'After his performance on Sunday I
think he would have been brilliant today. You don't have two
performances like he did on Sunday,' said Ferguson. 'Unfortunately we couldn't risk him.'

He continued: 'It was a volley towards the end of training. He did a ligament at the back of his knee and could be out for two to three weeks.'

Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez stepped up to the mark in Rooney's absence, both scoring as United managed to grab three points from a topsy-turvy game.

Danny Welbeck also missed the game after reporting an illness last night.

Rooney had performed fitfully this season – some of his better performances have actually come in central midfield rather than in his favoured striker's position.

Lethal: Javier Hernandez wheels away after scoring the final goal of the thriller against Newcastle

Lethal: Javier Hernandez wheels away after scoring the final goal of the thriller against Newcastle

Rooney will miss Premier League
matches against West Brom and Wigan, in addition to the FA Cup third
round tie at West Ham on January 5.

He also faces a race against time to face Liverpool at Old Trafford on January 13.

Ferguson continued: 'Danny Welbeck took ill in the team hotel last night.
'Ashley Young also got injured yesterday and Phil Jones got injured against Swansea.'

Tucked away: Robin van Persie has been at his imperious best for the last two seasons now

Tucked away: Robin van Persie has been at his imperious best for the last two seasons now

Skipper Nemanja Vidic was back on the bench today but Ferguson did not want to use him after the centre-back made his first start since September at the Liberty Stadium.

'We couldn't risk Vida after playing his first game,' said Ferguson.

'He had a bit of soreness in his knee, which is only to be expected after being out for so long.'

Cristiano Ronaldo wants to rejoin Manchester United

Take me home! Fergie on red alert after Ronaldo tells friends 'he would love' United return

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UPDATED:

12:11 GMT, 23 December 2012

Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has told friends and former Manchester United team-mates that he would love to move back to his former side.

A day after Sir Alex Ferguson said he would love to have the attacker back at Old Trafford the 27-year-old has admitted he wants to 'come home', according to The Sun on Sunday.

His return to Manchester next year is guaranteed – Madrid have drawn United in the last 16 of the Champions League – but a more permanent switch would prove tricky.

Bring me back: Cristiano Ronaldo would enjoy a return to Old Trafford

Bring me back: Cristiano Ronaldo would enjoy a return to Old Trafford

Ronaldo's vital statistics

Using statistics from the Premier League, La Liga and the Champions League we can see Ronaldo has come into his own in a Real shirt.

Man United

Played: 248, Goals: 99, Assists: 43

Real Madrid

Played: 152, Goals: 155, Assists: 41

His contract get out clause is an eye-watering one billion euros and his contract has two-and-a-half years left to run at the Bernabeu.

Since moving to Spain in 2009 Ronaldo has bagged a superb 170 goals in 169 games in all competitions and his performances have seen him rewarded by being shortlisted for the Ballon d'Or.

The striker was – and still is – adored by Red Devils fans but not all Madrid supporters have taken to him with the same enthusiasm.

Trouble: Madrid are finding it impossible keep the pace with Barcelona at the top of La Liga

Trouble: Madrid are finding it impossible keep the pace with Barcelona at the top of La Liga

He would also like to work with Sir Alex Ferguson again – but if a deal was somehow struck between the two clubs it is possible he could still be working with Jose Mourinho.

Real Madrid's manager is under pressure and could leave the Spanish giants.

He is a contender to succeed Ferguson at Old Trafford and would love to link up again with the Portugal captain.

Golden days: Sir Alex Ferguson with Ronaldo while at Manchester United

Golden days: Sir Alex Ferguson with Ronaldo while at Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson jokes he"ll need to good red wine for Jose Mourinho"s visit with Real Madrid

I'll get some good red wine for Jose! Fergie's thrilled with Ronaldo's return with Real in the Champions League

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UPDATED:

17:10 GMT, 20 December 2012

FRIEND OR FOE

From that celebration at Old Trafford to sharing cups of tea… how Mourinho and Ferguson swapped fury for friendship

Sir Alex Ferguson has joked he will need to order a new supply of good red wine for Jose Mourinho’s visit to Old Trafford.

Manchester United drew Real Madrid in the pick of the ties in the Last 16 of the Champions League and the United manager is famous for inviting rival managers to his office for a glass of red wine after the game.

The two managers had a tradition of sharing a glass of red after their teams' encounters in the Premier League – though Ferguson described the first wine Mourinho ever provided him as being 'like paintstripper'.

Mourinho made amends with a 300 bottle of Portuguese red the next time around, and the last-16 match in the Champions League should be as mouthwatering as the wine.

Up for the cup: Sir Alex Ferguson is up against his old friend Jose Mourinho

Up for the cup: Sir Alex Ferguson is up against his old friend Jose Mourinho

The game will also bring former United winger Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford for the very first time since his 80million move to the Bernabeu in 2009.

Reacting to the draw Ferguson told United’s official website: ‘Well, it’s the tie of the round. It’s a great opportunity for our fans to see Cristiano again and also for me to meet up with Jose again – I’ll need to order some good wine!’

Ferguson and Mourinho enjoy a warm relationship of mutual respect and rivalry.

Jose Mourinho famously first made his mark on Europe’s top competition at Old Trafford a decade ago when Porto knocked the Red Devils out en-route to winning the title.

Recently Ferguson said: ‘He is very intelligent, he has charisma, his players play for him, and he is a good looking guy.

Golden boy is back: Mourinho brings with him Cristiano Ronaldo, visiting Old Trafford for the first time since his record-breaking 80m move to Spain in 2009

Golden boy is back: Mourinho brings with him Cristiano Ronaldo, visiting Old Trafford for the first time since his record-breaking 80m move to Spain in 2009

'I think I have most of those things, too, apart from his good looks. He’s got a confidence about himself, saying “We’ll win this,” and “I’m the Special One”.

‘I could never come out and say we’re going to win this game. It’s maybe a wee bit of my Scottishness’

United will play the first leg at the Bernabeu on February 13 with the return at Old Trafford on March 5.

VIDEO Reaction to the draw

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Manchester United v Real Madrid: VIDEO – Ronaldo, Redondo, George Best – unforgettable moments

From Ronaldo's hat-trick to Redondo's outrageous assist… Unforgettable moments from Man United v Real Madrid clashes

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UPDATED:

13:35 GMT, 20 December 2012

Few fixtures set the pulse racing and mouth watering quite like Manchester United versus Real Madrid, especially when there's a chap called Ronaldo involved.

When the two biggest clubs in the world meet (sorry Barcelona… and forget it Liverpool) you can guarantee football of the highest quality, white-knuckle drama – and goals, goals, goals.

Surprisingly, United have faced the
Bernabeu giants in competition only eight times in their history, over
four two-legged European Cup ties. But almost every one has been a game
to savour.

Simply the best: Ronaldo evades a tackle from Wes Brown and blasts in his hat-trick goal in 2003

Simply the best: Ronaldo evades a tackle from Wes Brown and blasts in his hat-trick goal in 2003

From Fernando Redondo's ridiculous assist for Raul in 2000 to (the orginal) Ronaldo's jaw-dropping hat-trick in 2003, this fixture has provided breathtaking moments that are seared into the memory of those lucky enough to be watching.

And with a certain Cristiano Ronaldo making his return to the club that forged him into an 80million superstar, and the latest battle between Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho, this season's last-16 Champions League encounter promises more of the same.

Here, Sportsmail looks back at the very best of Manchester United versus Real Madrid.

1956/1957 – EUROPEAN CUP

Real Madrid 3 Man Utd 1 (11 April)

The Busby Babes' European baptism in front of 135,000 at the Bernabeu. Alfredo di Stefano was at his majestic best, scoring the second goal as Real cruised into a semi-final lead.

A late Tommy Taylor header appeared to give United hope but Enrique Mateos scored again for the Spanish giants.

Man Utd 2 Real Madrid 2 (24 April)

Any hope United had of getting through was extinguished when Di Stefano opened the scoring at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils were two down before Tommy Taylor and Bobby Charlton struck back. United went out but a European odyssey was born.

Real went on to beat Fiorentina in the final.

1967/1968 – EUROPEAN CUP

Man Utd 1 Real Madrid 0 (24 April)

Eleven years after their first semi-final meeting, the two sides met again.

Matt Busby's side were at home first and grabbed a crucial first-leg lead when George Best turned home John Aston's first-half cross.

Real Madrid 3 Man Utd 3 (15 May)

United seemed to be on their way out as the contest entered its final 20 minutes, with Real ahead on the night and in the tie.

But David Sadler stunned Real when he pounced on George Best's free-kick before Munich survivor Bill Foulkes scored the most important goal of his United career to send Matt Busby's men through.

United went on to the final at Wembley, where they would beat Benfica to claim their first European Cup.

1999/2000 – CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Real Madrid 0 Man Utd 0 (4 April)

The two sides' first encounter for 32 years may have ended goalless but it was not short on entertainment.

United had Mark Bosnich to thank for their clean sheet, as the Australian turned in a performance worthy of Peter Schmeichel, the legendary keeper he replaced in the Red Devils' goal.

Steve McManaman wasted several clear chances for Real, while Andy Cole fluffed his lines for United.

Man Utd 2 Real Madrid 3 (19 April)

As reigning European champions, United would have fancied their chances of seeing off Madrid but Raul – and Fernando Redondo – had other ideas.

Raul stunned Old Trafford by adding a second Madrid strike to Roy Keane's unfortunate own goal, the Spain striker curling a delicious effort into the far corner to cap a swift counter-attack led by McManaman.

But it was Redondo who stole the show. Nothing appeared on when the Argentina playmaker took the ball wide near the left touchline deep in United's half. But he backheeled the ball one way then ran the other round Henning Berg, leaving the Norway defender for dead, before advancing into the penalty area and squaring for Raul to tap into an empty net.

David Beckham and Paul Scholes hit back but the night will be remembered for perhaps the greatest assist ever seen. Real went on to beat Valencia in the final.

2002/2003 – CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Real Madrid 3 Man Utd 1 (8 April)

United were dreaming of a Champions League final appearance on home soil at Old Trafford but were put to the sword by the irresistible Zinedine Zidane.

The great Frenchman was at the peak of his powers, orchestrating a brilliant performance from a Real team packed with superstars – the Galacticos of Luis Figo, Raul, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo and Zidane himself.

Figo struck early before a superb double from Raul left United staring at a heavy defeat, although Ruud van Nistelrooy's second-half strike ensured Sir Alex Ferguson's men left the Bernabeu with a faint hope of progress.

Man Utd 4 Real Madrid 3 (23 April)

Long before a chap called Cristiano came along, this was the night that Ronaldo was anointed king of Old Trafford. The Brazil superstar left the field to a standing ovation – from United fans as well as Madrid's own supporters – after hitting one of the great hat-tricks.

Ronaldo's first was a piledriver from the edge of the box following a sweeping move involving McManaman, Zidane, Guti and Figo.

His second was a grossly-underrated classic. Ronaldo may have tapped-in, but the simple finish followed an exhibition in first counter-attacking and then possession football, all in one single move that even contained a chip that hit the crossbar.

And the icing on the cake was another rocket, this time into the top corner from 25 yards.

David Beckham was controversially left out by Sir Alex Ferguson but came on and hit a late double, much to the embarrassment of his manager. The England captain was soon to be found plying his trade at the Bernabeu.

This was also the match that inspired Roman Abramovich to buy a football club. The Russian billionaire was in the stands and fell in love with the game. Two months later he bought Chelsea and the rest is history. Certain Premier League clubs might say that Ronaldo has plenty to answer for…

Robin van Persie sings Glory Glory Man United at Christmas party – with Shinji Kagawa Gangnam performance

Van Persie shows his true colours with rendition of Glory Glory Man United at Christmas party… but Kagawa steals show with Gangnam performance

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UPDATED:

16:30 GMT, 16 December 2012

He may have only joined Manchester United in the summer, but Robin van Persie seems to have settled in pretty well.

And he's not missing Arsenal much either.

Because he displayed his loyalty to the Red Devils with a festive rendition of 'Glory Glory Man United' during their Christmas party at Rio Ferdinand's Rosso restaurant in Manchester.

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Robin Van Persie, Rio Ferdinand and Alexander Buttner celebrate at the Manchester United Christmas party

Robin Van Persie, Rio Ferdinand and Alexander Buttner all celebrated their success in the Premier League at Saturday's Christmas party

Alex Ferguson paid 24million for the striker and is unlikely to be regretting the move.

Since
his transfer from Arsenal, the 29-year-old has scored 15 goals in 21
games for his new club, taking them six points clear at the top of the
Premier League.

His former club, meanwhile, are currently floundering in eighth place, and recently suffered an embarrassing defeat to a League Two Bradford side.

Shinji Kagawa wasn't going to let Van Persie be the only one to show off his vocal skills, however.

He leapt up to entertain his team-mates with his own version of PSY's 'Gangnam Style.'

Shinji Kagawa attends the Manchester United Christmas party

Robin Van Persie attends the Manchester United Christmas Party

Party time: Shinji Kagawa (left) and Robin van Persie head to Ferdinand's restaurant on Saturday

Rio Ferdinand seemed to enjoy the night, tweeting: 'Kagawa is one funny guy! Made my night last night with the song he sang for the lads! Classic!'

Kagawa also joined United in the summer, moving from Borussia Dortmund. The Japan midfielder has been absent in recent matches after having sustained a knee injury in October.

However, Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that the 23-year-old is set to resume full-time training next week.

It's no wonder that the team were in high spirits at yesterday's Christmas bash.

Captain Nemanja Vidic rejoined the squad in their Saturday clash with Sunderland, in which Ferguson's side eased to a 3-1 victory. They face Swansea on December 23.

Robin Van Persie sings Glory Glory Man United

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Shinji Kagawa sings Gangham Style

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Glory Glory Man United Lyrics

Glory glory Man united,
Glory glory Man united,
Glory glory Man united,
As the reds go marching on on on!

Just like the busby babes in days gone by,
We'll keep the red flags flying high,
Your gonna see us all from far and wide,
Your gonna hear the masses sing with pride.

United, Man united,
We're the boys in red and we're on our way to Wembley!

Wembley, Wembley,
We're the famous Man united and we're going to Wembley,
Wembley, Wembley,
We're the famous Man united and we're going to Wembley

In Seventy-Seven it was Docherty
Atkinson will make it Eighty-Three
And everyone will no just who we are,
They'll be singing que sera sera

United, Man united,
We're the boys in red and we're on our way to Wembley!

Wembley, Wembley,
We're the famous Man united and we're going to Wembley,
Wembley, Wembley,
We're the famous Man united and we're going to Wembley

Glory glory Man united,
Glory glory Man united,
Glory glory Man united,
As the reds go marching on on on!