The scene is May 1991, Feyenoord stadium in Rotterdam. The European Cup Winners’ Cup final is about to kick off. Manchester United and Barcelona line up against each other, with United boasting the core of the side which would go on to challenge for the league title next season and then win the Premier League the season after that.
Manchester United would go on to win the match, thanks to a Mark Hughes special (and some calamitous defending by Barcelona, including the keeper’s gaffe that gifted Sparky a goal).
You can see that goal in the video below:
Sparky is a United legend, Rooney is one in the making. Despite an indifferent season in terms goalscoring Manchester United have been indebted to Rooney’s efforts on the pitch, running opposition defences ragged and creating countless opportunities for his United teammates.
And now Manchester go toe to toe with Barcelona again in the Champions League semifinals – with the first leg to be played at Camp Nou, getting an away goal will be a big help for the English Champions to take control of this tie. Everyone will expect Cristiano Ronaldo to show up and score, but my money (as always) is on Rooney popping in with an incredible finish. There are few bigger stages than the Camp Nou hosting a Champions League semifinal, and with history in mind (91, 99 and while we’re at it, the 07 drubbing at San Siro), you can count on this United side giving another professional performance.
Rooney to score against Barcelona? Might be worth a punt…
Hat tip to Ollie @ Pies.