Fink faces old nemesis at Old Trafford

A member of the FC Bayern München team beaten in the 1999 UEFA Champions League final, Thorsten Fink faces Manchester United FC again when he takes FC Basel 1893 to England.

Basel coach Thorsten Fink will not need telling how difficult it is to stop United
Basel coach Thorsten Fink will not need telling how difficult it is to stop United ©Getty Images

FC Basel 1893 coach Thorsten Fink will know better than to take anything for granted when his team visit Manchester United FC on matchday two.

• Fink was a member of the FC Bayern München side beaten by two added-time United goals in the 1999 UEFA Champions League final and faces the English title holders for the first time as a coach.

• Basel are top of Group C following their 2-1 home win against FC Oţelul Galaţi on matchday one, when United were held 1-1 at SL Benfica.

Previous meetings
• Darren Fletcher made his United debut when Basel visited Old Trafford on 12 March 2003. United had already qualified for the quarter-finals when the teams met in their penultimate game of that season's second group stage and it finished 1-1 after Gary Neville cancelled out Christian Giménez's first-half goal.

• Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Scott Chipperfield are the only other survivors from that game. The full lineups were:
Man Utd: Carroll, G Neville, Ferdinand, Blanc (Scholes 74), O'Shea, P Neville, Solskjær, Fletcher (Beckham 74), Butt, Richardson (Giggs 46), Forlán.
Basel: Zuberbühler, Haas, M Yakin, Zwyssig, Atouba, Barberis, Cantaluppi, Chipperfield, H Yakin, Rossi (Huggel, 63), Giménez (Tum 77).

• United also overcame an opening Giménez goal when beating Basel 3-1 in the teams' preceding meeting in Switzerland but while Sir Alex's men finished as group winners, Christian Gross's Basel ended up third, level on points with second-placed Juventus and RC Deportivo La Coruña.

Match background
• United have lost just once in their last 32 UEFA Champions League outings at Old Trafford.

• Basel have never won in seven visits to England and since drawing at both Liverpool FC and United in their debut UEFA Champions League campaign in 2002/03, have lost at Newcastle United FC, Middlesbrough FC, Blackburn Rovers FC and Fulham FC.

• Basel won three of six away games in Europe in 2010/11, although they won one and lost two in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Team ties
• Sir Alex Ferguson achieved his biggest European victory against Swiss opposition when his Aberdeen FC side beat FC Sion 7-0 in the opening match of their triumphant 1982/83 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup campaign. They also won the return 4-1 in Switzerland.

• With Aberdeen, Sir Alex subsequently got the better of Servette FC in the 1985/86 European Champion Clubs' Cup second round, 1-0 on aggregate. However, his last European match before joining United was a 3-0 defeat in Sion, who eliminated Aberdeen 4-2 on aggregate in the 1986/87 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round.

• Fink was an 80th-minute substitute in the 1999 UEFA Champions League final, entering with his side leading 1-0 before they succumbed to United's dramatic late turnaround. He had come off the bench for the teams' 2-2 group stage draw in Munich that season, and featured as a 73rd-minute substitute at Old Trafford in a 0-0 second group stage draw in March 2002.

• Wayne Rooney scored England's opener in a 3-1 win in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier at Basel's St. Jakob-Park in September 2010. Xherdan Shaqiri replied for a Switzerland side including Alexander Frei and Marco Streller.

• Ashley Young scored and Ferdinand also played when England drew 2-2 with Switzerland in the return at Wembley in June. Shaqiri and debutant Granit Xhaka were in the Swiss team.

• Rooney scored twice against Switzerland in a UEFA EURO 2004 group match in Portugal; Michael Owen and Basel's Frei and Benjamin Huggel also featured.

• David de Gea and Yann Sommer were in the opposing goals at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship final in Aarhus in June, where De Gea's Spain were 2-0 winners against a Switzerland team including Shaqiri and Xhaka.

• Nemanja Vidić was in the Serbia side beaten 2-1 by Chipperfield's Australia at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

• Frei scored for Switzerland in a 2-0 win that eliminated Park Ji-Sung's Korea Republic from the 2006 World Cup.

• Park Joo-Ho made one Korea Republic appearance alongside Park Ji-Sung prior to the latter's international retirement.

Related Items