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14/10/2013 11:33, Report by Nathan Thomas
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#4 - Whiteside's bow

Our countdown of Manchester United players' greatest international moments moves on to an event in World Cup history...

Player: Norman Whiteside
Match: Northern Ireland 0-0 Yugoslavia; 17 June 1982; Zaragoza, Spain.

It seemed the natural next step for Norman Whiteside when he became the World Cup finals' youngest-ever player at just 17 years and 41 days old.

The Belfast-born teenager seemed to take such feats in his stride as he adapted with ease to his high-pressure surroundings. In the preceding season, Whiteside had become United's youngest first-team player since Duncan Edwards and the club's youngest goalscorer of all-time when he found the net in the final league match against Stoke City.

Although his debut for Northern Ireland was unquestionably historic, the game itself was largely forgettable - a goalless draw with Yugoslavia in which he picked up a yellow card. The second group game wasn't much better, with Billy Bingham's side only managing to draw, 1-1, with Honduras. This left Northern Ireland with the seemingly impossible task of defeating hosts Spain to reach the next round.

However, Whiteside and his team-mates stood firm under almost constant pressure and made the natives increasingly restless. On a rare foray forward of his own, the United youngster even executed a 'Cruyff-esque' turn before firing a shot towards goal. The telling contribution in attack later came from Gerry Armstrong, who smashed the ball home to secure a famous win. Although Northern Ireland bowed out against France in the next stage, there was no doubt they - and Whiteside - had made their mark.

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