1968, Wembley

United beat Benfica 4-1 after extra time to lift a first European Cup

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1999, Barcelona

The most incredible 100 seconds of European football ever seen

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2008, Moscow

Reds claim a third crown after penalty shoot-out drama in the rain

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24/02/2014 08:30, Report by J Tuck

United in Europe: Final wins

On Tuesday, United face Olympiacos in what will be the club's 250th European Cup match. Three of those games ended in unforgettable glory…

Ten years on from Munich and 12 years after first stepping into Europe, Manchester United reached the zenith Matt Busby had dreamed of.

Busby's rebuilt Reds team became England's first European Cup winners on 29 May 1968, as goals from Bobby Charlton (two), George Best and Brian Kidd secured a 4-1 win over Portuguese champions Benfica after extra time on an emotional night at Wembley.

We waited 31 years for United to repeat the feat, beating Bayern Munich on 26 May 1999 in the most dramatic ending in the competition's history. Going into injury-time 1-0 down to a powerful German side in Barcelona, Sir Alex Ferguson's men looked beaten. Up stepped Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to shatter Bayern and send 50,000 Reds inside the Nou Camp – and millions more around the world – into unbridled euphoria.

Sir Alex had emulated Sir Matt and he went one better than his predecessor on 21 May 2008 on another poignant evening, 50 years after Munich and 40 years since the club's first triumph. On a rainy night in Moscow, United drew 1-1 with Chelsea after extra time in the competition's first all-English final, but won the subsequent penalty shoot-out 6-5, with Edwin van Sar saving the decisive spot-kick from Nicolas Anelka.

United in Europe: The origins | Star men | Obscure ties | Biggest wins

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