Midfielder Michael Carrick says United’s rich history inspired the class of 2008 to win the Champions League in Moscow.
Fifty years after the Munich air disaster, and 40 years after Matt Busby’s men lifted the European Cup at Wembley, Sir Alex’s men defeated Chelsea in a tense penalty shootout to be crowned champions of Europe.
“We thought about Munich and 1968 before the game,” Carrick told ManUtd.com.
“When the match started we were focussed on that, but when we’d actually won and we saw Sir Bobby on the pitch and going up with us for the cup, it was very emotional for everyone.
“That’s when the achievement really sunk in. It took a while to sink in after such a crazy night but to have a winners’ medal in your possession is a dream come true.”
Carrick was one of the Reds’ brightest performers in Moscow, starting alongside Paul Scholes in the heart of United's midfield. But the former Tottenham man’s most significant contribution came in the penalty shootout, when he strode forward to coolly dispatch United’s second kick past Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.
“I just said to myself: ‘Please score’. You know there’s always going to be someone who’s going to have to miss and you pray it’s not you.
“You’ve got to have belief in yourself that you’re going to score and obviously you’ve got to keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best.
“Penalties was perhaps a harsh way to decide the game, but that’s the way it is and thankfully we came out on top.
“During normal time there were chances at both ends. We played very well in the first half and were disappointed not to be winning at half-time.”