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“Congratulation to our friends in Manchester. From your friends in Madrid!”

On the way to Manchester United becoming the first English club to win the European Cup in 1968 they knocked out Real Madrid in the semi-finals.

In typical manner Real acted with class and style. Bernabeu spoke after the second leg when a dramatic 3-3 secured United’s place in the Wembley final of 1968. He said, ‘If it had to be anybody I was glad it was them.’ Then, after United‘s victory over Benfica, the first telegram waiting for them in the changing room was addressed from Madrid. It simply stated: ‘Congratulation to our friends in Manchester. From your friends in Madrid!’

However, the greatest game between the two clubs, for me, personally, was a game I was at. The 2003 match Champions league encounter: Manchester United 4 Real Madrid 3. Beaten 3-1 in the Bernabeu by an out of this world inspired Zinidane Zidane, United fought tooth and nail to claw back the deficit, only to keep being caught out by the deadly finishing of the Brazilian centre-forward Ronaldo. Everytime we got close and sensed a comeback might be on. Bang! He scored again.

This was the game that first gave me the idea for the book. The substitution of Ronaldo in the second half. What occurred was astonishing, this guy had all but knocked us out on his own and the entire stadium rose as one to applaud him off? Later at home I watched again on television and witnessed Sir Bobby Charlton sat next to Alfredo Di Stefano. Both were looking on in sheer awe at what occurred in that 63rd minute. I thought to myself, where did that come from?’ Hence the book: A Tale of Two Cities: Manchester & Madrid 1957-1968

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85 Comments

  1. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Xavi Alonso has never played on a winning team at Old Trafford. Lossing all games he played in at Old Trafford with Liverpool.

    Good omen?

  2. In David We Trust says:

    NBI – I say both sides have to play on top of their game, to get through, when slayer says and I quote (United will need to perform a battle like the one against Spurs) even though spurs were lucky united did not win the game 2 or 3 0, esp if it was not for the ref not giving united a pen. For me, we really should have won the Madrid game, esp if RVP took his chances, so for me, despite the fact Madrid played very well first half, we go into the second leg I feel with a chance not taken, as I feel we should be going into the second game with a 2 or 3 1 lead, atleast a 2 1 lead, I just hope we have not missed a huge chance, but its OT, and at OT united can beat anyone

  3. ididnotzeeit says:

    I don’t understand folks’ ask that we play this tight, cagey affair. Fucking out score them at the theater of dreams, simple as. Real’s defense is paultry at best, we’re at home in a rocking atmosphere. 90 minutes to light up the score board, may the best team win. Go for broke ffs, what’s the worst that can happen? Lose to Real in the CL? Who fucking cares? We’re not a 3rd division team in the FA Cup for christ’s sake, this isn’t about progression for gate fees. Lose to Madrid and our focus shifts to PL and FAC titles, win and we’re still on, on 3 fronts.

    I’m not scared, I don’t fear Real. They’re quality but we’ve got the the horses to out score them at home, give it our best attacking go and let the chips fall where they may. I can’t remember a time I felt more disgusted than after losing to City last year with our “let’s not lose” attitude. That’s NOT United, that’s NOT what we do.

    Put them to the sword and play for 90 minutes, give the fans what they want, attacking football and I could give two shits if that “fits right into Mourihno’s plans.” I don’t think they’re good enough defensively to deal with us.

    Buzzing, can’t wait!

  4. FletchTHEMAN says:

    *** Xabi ***

  5. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    FUCK. I’ve been nervous since I woke up. Have not been this nervous in a year. COME ONNNNNNNN!!!! SHOCK THE WORLD!!!!!!

  6. slim says:

    Game time boys and girls. I’m revved up and ready to go. I hope the lads are too

  7. ahjs says:

    10 years since last time. A Ronaldo again. A free-scoring Dutch Van up front for us. Fergie remains. Giggs still doing the business. Unfortunately, my own personal United hero, Scholes, is absent again.

    Don’t think this Madrid team is as good as the one ten years ago, but that’s a good thing. Barthez let us down a lot in the CL but De Gea might be the difference tonight. Been counting down the hours today. Oscar Wilde said “This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.” Well, until kick-off Oscar. Until kick-off.

    It could be an exciting Champions League this year and it’s wide open and winnable and I hope we’re there.

  8. Red4ever says:

    I cant comment much tonight my hands are shivering out of excitement ,,,,all I can say is put on a strong team and beat the hell out of madrid ,,and I can for sure garen-damn-tee there will not be a draw for sure united win 2-1

  9. WeAreUnited says:

    CMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON

    WE NEED ALL THE SUSPPORT AND POSTIVINESS TODAY

    Uniteeeed, Uniteeeeeeeeeeeeeed, can’t imagine the feelings of those that are up there at OT.

    UNITEEEEEED

  10. Proverb says:

    I’m watching the highlights of our first league encounter vs madrid, that will set me right up for the game tonight, I’m really pumped up for the game.

    I got this gut feeling that we’ll win the game, such a difficult game to predict the score-line

  11. UnitedFaithful says:

    United: De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Carrick, Cleverley, Welbeck, Giggs, van Persie.

  12. Dazbomber says:

    No Rooney

  13. UNITED4Life says:

    He is on the bench. BIG decision

  14. UnitedFaithful says:

    Subs: Lindegaard, Rooney, Evans, Valencia, Young, Kagawa, Hernandez.

    Rooney dropped due to his recent performances?

  15. Daniel88 says:

    Imagine that Rooney … NOT IN THE SQUAD.

    I am laughing my ass off at you losers.

  16. Red4ever says:

    Yeah omg I think we are going for a clean sheet ohhhh shit im nervous go lads go win win win

  17. Daniel88 says:

    HA HA HA

    The words ” I DONT YOU SO ” just dont fucking say it.

  18. Joffrey Baratheon says:

    Surprising team selection. Glad Giggs is playing wide and not in the centre. Big night for Cleverley, I doubt he was expecting a start.

  19. Mitch Kramer says:

    this seems very strange to me…. a standard 4-4-2 with welbz dropping deep i assume?

  20. Dan-young says:

    Rooney and kagsnotstarting .. Giggs nani and welbz start

  21. CoppelRED says:

    Wow!!

  22. Daniel88 says:

    I TOLD YOU SO.

  23. Red4ever says:

    Daniel if im gonna kick ur ass some day who the hell are u calling lossers u troll on our site get the hell out of here dont spoil the environment

  24. Mitch Kramer says:

    sky sports saying that giggs is in the CAM role and welbeck is wide left, doubt thatll be the case though…

  25. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    WOW Rooney does not start and giggs starts. That’s kind of a surprise. nice to see Rio and Vidic back in defence together. Hopefully they put on the performance of their lives tonight. Anyways, I don’t care just fucking WIN THIS GAME!!!! COME ONN LADS.

  26. ahjs says:

    @Daniel88

    Well, it was only me repeating a rumour. So you mean loser, not losers. Plank.

    And yeah. Imagine if Rooney was injured. Who ever heard of a football player picking up an injury and missing a match?

  27. Red4ever says:

    Ryan giggs ryan giggs roling down ryan giggs 1000 th legend sir ryan

  28. UnitedFaithful says:

    United have the spirit.On the field players every player takes care of each other.I don’t care who is playing or not playing as long as the lads put their heart and soul to this game.Win or loose doesn’t matter.Just go out there and show those overpaid pricks what United is all about.Go for their throts.
    Come onn United.

  29. In David We Trust says:

    its like a beckham moment for the boss, 2003 fergie benched beckham, a decade later, against the same team, fergie benches rooney. Big game for nani, he fucks up, its his final chance blown

  30. Daniel88 says:

    @ ahjs

    Slow your role.
    Not talking to you.

  31. UNITED4Life says:

    would prefer Rooney in the starting 11.

  32. UnitedFaithful says:

    It’s a very fluid formation.Gigs can drift out to left and welbeck through the middle just behind RVP.Fergie will have the lads fired up for this.No point discussing about what should have done.The players need support more than anything in the world.

  33. Proverb says:

    I think the reason rooney is not in the same field as nani is bcos the two doesn’t seem to get along

    If you have kept an closer eye to them two together, rooney special doesn’t like the way nani play he gets easily upset and throw his hands about…….

    I don’t know it could be due to the boot he received to cleverley in training or just a tactical set up, but still it is a really huge decision to exclude rooney from the first 11 it show how determined sir alex is to not show sentiments

  34. wayne says:

    Stateside it’s fucking mental Maureen getting a bad rap literally every fucking team he went to became better and won trophies.i might be out to lunch but but i think the last Portuguese team to win the CL apart from Porto had Eusebio playing for them.These idiots who say Maureen can’t win without money should check the timeline on Eusebio,i’m prepared to be proven wrong about this,but that’s what made Bestie so good.Benfica were quality and Best destroyed them at 20,so please don’t give me the one footed sprint wonder Bale is worth 50 myll,he isnt worth 25mill.If Utd got him he’d be better but right now he’s a sprinter with a left foot

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