The UEFA Champions League Final comes to Wembley for the first time since its inception as the Champions League but it is not the first time that the London stadium has hosted the final.
Cast your mind back to 1968 and the days of Best, Law and Charlton running riot in the red of Manchester. They had steered their way to a European Cup Final against a Eusebio led Benfica. The game was a stalemate and went into extra time at 1-1 before goals from Bobby Charlton, Brian Kidd and George Best inspired United to go on to win the European Cup 4-1 after extra time. The victory was magnificent not only because it was the first European Cup in United’s history but because it marked the 10 year anniversary of the tragic Munich Air Disaster which destroyed the Busby Babes. Sir Matt Busby achieved what he set out to do 10 years previous thanks to his players and the night was especially poignant for Foulkes and Charlton, who remained the only surviving players to continue to 1968 after Munich. Take a look below for highlights of that Wembley final from 1968:
Fast forward 43 years and here we are on the penultimate day before United walk out on the hallowed Wembley turf once again but this time looking to take the scalp of Barcelona, arguably one of the greatest football teams to have ever graced the game. Like 1968, the game will be tough but United will be determined to walk away victorious after losing to Barcelona 2-0 in the 2009 Rome final and Evra has set the tone for the rest of the team in the media build-up. Losing is not an option. All we can do now is wait in anticipation for Saturday night to come but the seconds don’t seem to go fast enough. I wish I could make it to Wembley but watching United storm to victory will be sufficient for me and any United fan come Saturday.
Manchester United 1968 European Cup Winners
Back row: Bill Foulkes, John Aston, Jimmy Rimmer, Alex Stepney, Alan Gowling, David Herd
Middle row: David Sadler, Tony Dunne, Shay Brennan, Pat Crerand, George Best, Francis Burns, Jack Crompton
Front row: Jim Ryan, Nobby Stiles, Denis Law, Sir Matt Busby, Bobby Charlton, Brian Kidd, John Fitzpatrick