The tension is high. The united players wait for the whistle, all shaking like a leaf in the storm. You can almost smell the adrenaline in the air. Both teams have come this far in the competition. Do they have the energy, do they have the nerve, do they what it takes to win this cup? You are just about to find out…. This football match is one of the most dramatic of matches I have ever seen. Sir Alex Ferguson, Man united’s manager, led them to stand on the edge of the ever elusive treble. They already had the FA Cup and the premier league in the bag, and now they were hunting down the unprecedented Champions League.
Man United had only previously won it only once in 1968, whereas Bayern have already won it 3 times. The Champions League, also known as the European Cup, first came into play in 1955, and it has almost reached it’s 50th birthday. Real Madrid broke the record by winning it an unbelievable 9 times. The European Cup is well known for competitive play towards football. However, in 1985, the occasion got too competitive between Juventus and Liverpool. Football hooligans took it too far, and 350 people got injured.
This tragic event was called the Heizel event, and it resulted in English teams being banned from the European Cup for 5 years. This proved disaster, as no English team had won the European Cup since. But here are Man United after 31 years, attempting to win again in the Nou Camp, attempting to reach the promised lands…… In the game itself, Man United didn’t have much of a great start. Bayern Munich took the lead early on through a Basler free-kick. I remember feeling great disappointment at that time. Many united fan’s dreams had been thrown down the drain; but there was still hope.
The match had dashed by, too quick for the liking of united fans. Every minute seemed like a second, and the seconds seem liked none. Tackles were flying in. However, on top of all this tenseness, this weight on our shoulders, the match was extremely exiting. I was kept at the edge of my seat for the full 90 minutes, not once did I dare to visit the toilet or get up for a snack. My eyes were glued in fascination. Alex Ferguson was preparing to bring on his two big guns, his two super-subs, Teddy Sherringham and Ole Gunnar Sjolkjaer.
At this time 80 minutes had passed by, not a moment I remember in the match. It seemed like last year when Bayern had taken the lead. United were on the edge of an abyss, one more Bayern attack and they were dead and buried. However, United still pressed on. Becham played it down to Neville who forced a corner kick. He lashed it in with a right boot but it was cleared by Bayern. It then reached Ryan Giggs who shot off target. It was going wide, but it then fell to Teddy Sherringham who masterfully put it beyond the reach of the Bayern goalkeeper and into the net!
At that moment in time my whole house had exploded. The Nou Camp also went crazy, like a heap of molten lava erupting from a volcano. All the tension had been squeezed out of my body. I then a huge breath that my lungs jumped out of my mouth. A whole new world of belief and confidence had entered into me. My body’s temperature rose so rapidly that I could almost feel my organs boil inside. I was desperate for water, but my legs were like jelly, I couldn’t stand up. I kept saying to myself, “we are the favorites now, we can win it! ”
At the end of the day, this was only a football match. However, I believe that it is a match of many genres. A lot can also be learnt from this match: Never give in, believe in yourself: United were dead and buried. But their belief and their refusal to give up allowed them to claw back the match. A little hope can go a long way. Another theme portrayed in this match it the team spirit. The Man United players needed each other; they could not have done it by themselves.
It was a team performance and not a single player stopped battling until the final whistle. Sir Alex Ferguson had summed it up in a few words. “The most important factor was the spirit of the team, they just never give in, they don’t know how to”. The following clip I am about to show you sums up the history of the European Cup, shows Man United scoring both their late goals and celebrating this huge triumph. Enjoy! As this being a football match, it has not won any special awards.
But I think that it will always win an award in my heart. I would personally recommend anyone to watch this unbelievable match, but especially the last 10 minutes. As I have already mentioned a lot can be learnt from it, and it could also influence youngsters to take up football. This wasn’t just an ordinary football match; it was a breath-taking encounter. So if you see a video of this match in the shops you know what to do. I leave you with a clip of Man United scoring both their goals, and celebrating this incredible triumph.