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04/07/2014 10:20, Report by Adam Marshall
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Chance beckons for Reds

There is a chance for Patrice Evra, Robin van Persie, Marouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj to join an elite group of Manchester United players who have competed in a World Cup quarter-final success.

Aside from Sir Bobby Charlton and Nobby Stiles' heroics on home soil for England in 1966, only two other Reds have celebrated a last-eight triumph on the biggest stage after being involved in the action. One of those, Cristiano Ronaldo, came at the expense of three of his Old Trafford colleagues eight years ago. The other is Louis Saha, who was a late substitute for France in a rare victory for a United player over Brazil at this stage of the tournament. 

There have been far more instances of heartache for United stars so let's hope for better luck when France face Germany on Friday, before the Netherlands tackle Costa Rica and Belgium meet Argentina on Saturday.

United's first World Cup quarter-finalist was former skipper Roger Byrne in 1954 as England were defeated 4-2 by eventual winners Uruguay in Basel. In Sweden, four years later, Harry Gregg and Colin Webster competed at the same stage. Gregg was powerless to prevent Northern Ireland losing to France 4-0 in Norrkoping, with top scorer Just Fontaine netting a brace, while Colin Webster's Wales, managed by Jimmy Murphy, were beaten by a solitary strike by Brazil's Pele.

Four years later, Brazil again ended the Reds' interest in the last eight when Charlton's England were overcome 3-1 as Garrincha scored twice and was only denied a hat-trick when Ron Springett saved his penalty.

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