Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the most successful British managers ever. In his time at United, the Scot saw a fair share of highs and lows. 13 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups and 2 Champions League are the highlights of his 26 year long managerial career. Over the years, he created some very successful teams and also nurtured some of the best players in the world.
In 2007/08 season, Manchester United were crowned the champions of England, Europe and the World. That double winning team revolved around the lethal duo of Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney. Everything clicked for the English giants that season. United’s players tasted success at an individual level too as 3 players made it into the PFA Premier League Team of the season and Cristiano Ronaldo picked up six awards including the FIFA Player of the Year award.
In his recently released autobiography, Fergie disclosed Ronaldo as the ‘most gifted player’ he ever managed. Cristiano Ronaldo turned heads in 2008 by scoring 42 goals in all competitions out of which 31 were in the Premier League, and was undisputed in the race for Premier League Golden Boot. A majority of his goals were created by the likes of Tevez and Rooney. Just two years after their clash in the World Cup 2006 quarter-final, Ronaldo and Rooney showed extraordinary co-ordination and teamwork.
Both the tournaments that Manchester United won were closely contested by their English rivals Chelsea. The Premier League was one won by 2 points on the last match day as Man United won their fixture against Wigan Athletic and Chelsea drew 1-1 against Bolton. United’s 17th league title, just one less than Liverpool’s record of 18, was followed by their 3rd European Cup.
In the Champions League, United were unbeaten in all the games. The Red Devils secured 16 points out of maximum 18 with 5 wins and a draw. After topping their group, United were pitched against Lyon. Goals by Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo in either legs were sufficient to seal a place in the quarter finals.
Next was the trip to AS Roma and two away goals by Ronaldo and Rooney were enough to motivate the squad. A goal by Tevez finished Roma’s chances in the return leg at Old Trafford. In the semi-finals, Barca held United for a goalless draw at Old Trafford. Yet, a brilliant volley by Paul Scholes in the 14th minute at Camp Nou sank the European dreams of Catalonian giants.
The final in Moscow was an all English final between Chelsea and Man United. The 26th minute goal Cristiano Ronaldo was equalized by Frank Lampard before the interval. Drogba hit the woodwork in extra time before getting sent off for slapping Nemanja Vidic. It was one of the most dramatic finals as Ronaldo missed in the penalty shoot outs. But John Terry was unable to capitalize on the opportunity as he slipped and United were given a life line. Edwin Van der sar saved the day by saving Anelka’s penalty and Manchester United reached the promised land.
So can Louis van Gaal bring back Euro success next season with his new star-studded squad? Let us know what you think in the comments section below for your chance to win a $50 Premier Sports Memorabilia gift voucher.