The official website for European football

Sir Alex on '99: How United bettered Bayern

Published: Monday 31 March 2014, 9.31CET
As Manchester United FC and FC Bayern München prepare to meet again in the quarter-finals, Sir Alex Ferguson looks back on their unforgettable final duel 15 years ago.
by Martyn Hindley

This content is streamed in such a way that it is protected and available only in a Flash format. Your device seems not to be compatible with our Flash video player.

 
 
 
Published: Monday 31 March 2014, 9.31CET

Sir Alex on '99: How United bettered Bayern

As Manchester United FC and FC Bayern München prepare to meet again in the quarter-finals, Sir Alex Ferguson looks back on their unforgettable final duel 15 years ago.

The draw for the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals paired Manchester United FC with FC Bayern München, bringing back memories of a famous night 15 years ago.

All of the teams' nine previous meetings have been in Europe's top club competition, none more memorable than the 1999 showpiece when Sir Alex Ferguson's men struck twice in the 90th minute through substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær to overturn Mario Basler's opener and complete an unprecedented treble by an English side.

UEFA.com caught up with United's former manager – now the UEFA Coaching Ambassador – whose teams were famed throughout his 27-year reign at Old Trafford for a never-say-die attitude that produced unlikely comebacks aplenty. There is no finer example of this than that evening in Barcelona.

"You couldn't do it a better way because there was no comeback," said Sir Alex. "If you're going to do something special, doing so as late as that is fantastic. It wasn't an accident because that team did it so many times that season. They had a fantastic desire to win. They had a great team spirit, a great character about the team, and they deserved to win simply because they kept doing it."

©Getty Images

Sir Alex consoling Ottmar Hitzfeld in '99

That his sides were famed for such recoveries was not down to chance – Sir Alex and United never knew when they were beaten. He liked to gamble. He would rather give it a go, be bold and push men forward, than succumb meekly.  

"Some of the greatest moments in my time at United have been in the last 15 minutes, without question," Sir Alex explained. "Say you're down 1-0 or 2-1, there's no point in being conservative and playing your normal game because it hasn't worked for 75 minutes. So risk and shove an extra player up front. We did that in the final against Bayern München with Solskjær, [Andrew] Cole and Sheringham."

Last updated: 31/03/14 12.25CET

Related information

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/news/newsid=2078228.html#sir+alex+99+how+united+bettered+bayern

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE words, the UEFA Champions League logo and trophy and the UEFA Champions League Final logos are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.