Can Manchester United repeat the 2008 Champions League heroics?

Manchester United
Manchester United Class of 2008 [credit: getty images]

Yesterday, Manchester United Captain and England ex-international, Michael Carrick confirmed he’d retire from professional football at the end of the current season.

The news didn’t come as a surprise to many considering his game time has reduced under the current manager and also his injury problems as of late.

In his words, “There comes a time when your body tells you to stop playing. That’s pretty much where I’m at.” The defensive midfielder will bow out of the game with shoulders high after a glittering United career that spanned 12 years.

MOSCOW – MAY 21: The Manchester United team line up for the cameras prior to kickoff during the UEFA Champions League Final match between Manchester United and Chelsea at the Luzhniki Stadium on May 21, 2008 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Carrick will be best remembered for being one of the prominent members of the 2007-2008 United season when they won the famous UEFA Champions League against English rivals Chelsea at the Luzhniki stadium in Russia capital, Moscow.

Brought in by Sir Alex Ferguson to fill in the shoes of Roy Keane. Carrick went on to stack his claim in the heart of United’s midfield and in the heart of United fans.

In this post, look at the United starting eleven on that night in Moscow in 2008, what has become of them 10 years later?

credit: getty images

1, Edwin van Dar Saar

The Dutchman was the oldest player on the pitch that night. Already tasted Champions League success during his time at Ajax, Edwin with a wealth of experience proved to make the difference during the penalty shootouts when he parried Chelsea’s Nicholas Anelka’s shot to hand United her 3rd Champions league trophy.

Edwin played in two more champions league finals with United against Barcelona in 2009 and 2011 and lost on both occasions. After the 2011 finals in Wembley, he announced his retirement.

Edwin is currently the CEO at his boyhood club Ajax Amsterdam.

credit: football 365

2, Wes Brown

Wes who started his career with United at the age of 12. Spent 15 years at the club before he left for Sunderland on a free transfer in 2011.

He started in the Right Back position ahead of United captain Gary Neville who wasn’t fit for the night, Wes gave the crucial assist for Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal in the first half. Wes Brown is currently playing in the Indian League with Kerala Blasters, aged 38.

credit: IBTimes UK

3, Rio Ferdinand

Joined United in 2003 for a club record fee. Rio established himself in defence with pair Nemanja Vidic. He was a key member of the title-winning season.

The former United and England captain retired in 2015 and became a TV sports pundit. In September 2017, he announced he will start a career in Boxing.

credit: Inter-news

4, Nemanja Vidic

The Serbian complete centre-back joined the Red Devils in 2006. He established a formidable partnership with Rio Ferdinand in the heart of United’s defence that was a tremendous force in England at that time.

The former United captain left for Inter Milan in 2014 on a free transfer. He retired from professional football in 2016 after suffering a hernia injury.

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5, Patrice Evra

The French wing-back had a successful time at Old Trafford. A key member of that United defense cliché. Patrice was also part of the team that featured in the other two finals against Barcelona.

After leaving United in 2014, Evra has been involved in different controversies. He was sacked by French side Marseille after kicking a fan during a brawl. He is currently playing for West Ham

credit: BT Sports

6, Owen Hargreaves

Joined the United team from Bayern Munich after the 2006 World Cup. The utility player started in the final against Chelsea as a Right Midfielder.

Owen’s career was cut short due to series of Injury. He went ahead to play for Fulham and Manchester City before retiring in 2012. He is currently into TV sports punditry.

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 19: Paul Scholes performs media duties prior to the Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round match between Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United at Ewood Park on February 19, 2017 in Blackburn, England. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

7, Paul Scholes

One of the famous United class of ’92 squad. Scholes was one of the players who featured in United’s UCL 1999 team to also play in the 2008 winning season.

The midfield maestro scored the decisive goal against Barcelona in the semi-finals.  He is currently a TV sports pundit.


8, Michael Carrick

The defensive midfielder was a key member of the United squad in 2008. The Englishman was brought in 2 years earlier following Roy Keane’s exit.

Micheal is the only member of that 2008 season still in the current team. Now, captain of Manchester United, Carrick announced yesterday that he will retire from football at the end of current season.

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9, Cristiano Ronaldo

Unarguably the star player of the United 2007/08 squad. Ronaldo scored United’s goal during normal time. But would miss his own kick during the penalty shootouts.

At the end of the 2008 season, Ronaldo who garnered 41 goals that season won the FIFA/Ballon d’Or award becoming the first player from an English side to win the Ballon d’Or in more than 2 decades.

Cristiano Ronaldo, 33, is a key player in Real Madrid and currently the FIFA best player of the year and Ballon d’Or winner.

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10, Carlos Tevez

The Argentine poacher joined United in 2007 on a two-year loan deal from West Ham. He formed a key partnership with Wayne Rooney in the front line. Featured in the 2008 finals in Moscow and scored United’s first penalty kick. Tevez didn’t renew his deal with United and rather joined neighbours Manchester City.

At 34, Carlos is currently playing for boyhood club Boca Juniors in Argentina.

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11, Wayne Rooney

The former United and England captain who joined United as a teenager from Everton in 2004/05.

Wayne was fans’ favourite and spent 11 years as a Red Devil. The English football legend returned to boyhood club Everton in 2017 after winning every trophy with United.

The 3 United subs in that night in Moscow are;

Ryan Giggs

Luis Nani


credit: getty images

Name who was your favourite player on that team?


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