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Snap shot: Owen stars as United oust Wolfsburg

History could be repeated this week when, six years on from Michael Owen's hat-trick, a Manchester United team targeting top spot meet a Wolfsburg side fighting for survival.

Snap shot: Owen stars as United oust Wolfsburg
Snap shot: Owen stars as United oust Wolfsburg ©Getty Images

Michael Owen's heyday was behind him in 2009, but he rolled back the years with a hat-trick as Manchester United clinched top spot in UEFA Champions League Group B and knocked Wolfsburg out. History could be repeated this week when, six years on, the teams meet again in Germany on matchday six.

1. Michael Owen
Owen was 18 when he announced himself with a sensational goal against Argentina at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Blessed with electrifying pace, he scored 118 goals in 216 league games for Liverpool – and won the 2001 UEFA Cup – before a season at Real Madrid. Injuries took their toll during subsequent spells with Newcastle, Manchester United and Stoke City, and he retired in 2013. England's fifth highest scorer, Owen has become a successful racehorse breeder and owner, and also works as a TV pundit.

Andrea Barzagli as he is now
Andrea Barzagli as he is now©Getty Images

2. Andrea Barzagli
The Tuscany native was 22 before he finally broke through to Serie A and, 12 years on, the tough defender is still going strong. The breakthrough came at Chievo and Barzagli spent four seasons at Palermo before a surprise move to Wolfsburg. He was ever-present in his debut season as the Wolves won the Bundesliga for the first time and credits Felix Magath with making him a better player. Barzagli returned to Italy in January 2011 with Juventus, and has won the Scudetto in each of his full seasons there.

Xavi's UEFA Champions League highlights
Xavi's UEFA Champions League highlights

3. Paul Scholes
Xavi Hernàndez's inspiration and the man Zinédine Zidane regretted never playing alongside, Scholes was one of the most cultured midfielders of his generation. Quiet off the pitch, he did all his talking on it for United, his only employers. Over a career spanning 18 years, the Englishman won 11 league titles, three FA Cups and two UEFA Champions League winners' medals. He is now a TV pundit, newspaper columnist and, with Ryan Giggs, Gary and Phil Neville and Nicky Butt, part-owner of Salford City.

Ricardo Costa tackles Ronaldo while at Valencia
Ricardo Costa tackles Ronaldo while at Valencia©AFP/Getty Images

4. Ricardo Costa
Only two Portuguese players have appeared at three World Cups. Cristiano Ronaldo is one and the other? Ricardo Costa. Having started his senior career at Porto (he was an unused substitute in the 2004 UEFA Champions League final), the defender moved to Wolfsburg in search of playing time. He never cemented a starting place, and it was a similar story at LOSC Lille and Valencia, though his World Cup record speaks volumes of his reliability. He now plays in Greece for PAOK.

Nani in Fenerbahçe colours
Nani in Fenerbahçe colours©Getty Images

5. Nani
Cape Verde-born Nani was 20 when arrived at United from Sporting CP for a fee of €25m, following a similar path to Portugal team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, his housemate for a time in England. The winger won four Premier League titles and scored in the shoot-out victory over Chelsea in the 2008 UEFA Champions League final but gradually fell out of favour and returned to Sporting CP on loan in 2014/15. Approaching 100 caps for Portugal, the 28-year-old is now at Fenerbahçe.

6. Danny Welbeck
Welbeck was eight when he joined local side United and rose through the ranks at a prodigious rate. The hard-working forward broke through to the first team in 2009, aged 17, and marked his Premier League debut with a wonder goal. By 2011/12 he was a regular but, never prolific, departed in 2014 in a surprise move to Arsenal. The England international scored the winner against United in the quarter-finals en route to lifting the FA Cup in May though is yet to feature this season because of injury.

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