Legends matches: The recent history
We’re all anticipating Saturday’s Legends of the North match at Old Trafford, as ex-players from Manchester United and Liverpool go head-to-head once more at the Theatre of Dreams.
After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, it will be the fifth Legends match to have taken place in M16 over the last decade, with all proceeds once again going to our brilliant Foundation.
If you’re contemplating purchasing tickets and you’re not sure what to expect, let us run through the last four Legends matches to be played at OT.
It’s fair to say that goals, entertainment and genuine greats of the game are always on the menu…
2013: UNITED 1 REAL MADRID 2
Less than a month after he’d announced his retirement from football and made an emotional farewell speech from the Old Trafford pitch, Sir Alex Ferguson was in attendance, along with 60,000 fans, as two of Europe’s blue-riband names reacquainted themselves with one another. Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Fabio Cannavaro and Claude Makelele featured in a star-studded line-up, while the home XI was equally as impressive, with Paul Scholes, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Treble goalscoring heroes Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole all involved. Ruud, who played a half for each of his former sides, scored United's second-half equaliser, after Fernando Morientes’s opener, although Ruben de la Red would have the last word for the Spaniards. Still, the Foundation was the real winner – with over £1 million raised from the day.
Scorers: van Nistelrooy 67 | Morientes 38, De la Red 84
United squad: Van der Sar, Van der Gouw; Berg, Blackmore, Irwin, Johnsen, Martin, Stam; Fortune, Robson, Scholes, Sharpe; Cole, Sheringham, van Nistelrooy, Yorke.
2015: UNITED 4 BAYERN MUNICH 2
Bayern have been our most frequent visitors to Old Trafford in terms of legends games and the first of two meetings was a memorable one, with half-a-dozen goals plundered, including five before the half-time interval. Scholes captained the Reds and still oozed class two years after retiring, while, at the age of 63, Paul Breitner managed to negotiate the opening stages of the game for the visitors. He could do little to prevent Louis Saha from opening the scoring, while Yorke and Cole also got in on the act after equalising strikes from Alexander Zickler and Michael Tarnat – two players who were involved against United in the 1999 Champions League final. The second half was quieter, but the win was sealed late on when Jesper Blomqvist slid in at the far post to convert Karel Poborsky’s cross.
Scorers: Saha 9, Yorke 39, Cole 45, Blomqvist 83 | Zickler 16, Tarnat 42
United squad: Van der Sar, Van der Gouw; P. Neville, Johnsen, Stam, Silvestre, Irwin, Blackmore, Martin, Beardsmore; Park, Scholes, Fortune, Poborsky, Thornley, Blomqvist; Yorke, Saha, Cole, Ritchie, Dublin.
2017: UNITED 2 BARCELONA 2
The Reds had secured a 3-1 victory over the Catalans in Spain in the first game of this two-legged affair, and first-half goals from van Nistelrooy and Danny Webber powered us into an even healthier-looking position by half-time at Old Trafford. Barca have a plethora of past talent to call upon though, and this line-up in particular was something to behold, with Edgar Davids, Patrick Kluivert and Eric Abidal all included. The team of La Liga legends masterminded a late recovery, with former Liverpool man Luis Garcia tucking home three minutes before Gaizka Mendieta rounded Edwin van der Sar to equalise. Fortunately we held on to our 5-3 aggregate advantage and ended up lifting the trophy in front of a huge home crowd.
Scorers: van Nistelrooy 14 (pen), Webber 43 | Luis Garcia 78, Mendieta 81
United squad: van der Sar, van der Gouw; Beardsmore, Irwin, Johnsen, Silvestre, Brown; Blomqvist, Djordjic, Park, Poborsky, Thornley; Dublin, Saha, van Nistelrooy, Webber, Yorke.
2019: UNITED 5 BAYERN MUNICH 0
Precisely 20 years on from the most famous night in the history of this football club, the Champions League winners of 1999 faced up against Bayern Munich’s finest, with Lothar Matthaus, Stefan Effenberg and Giovane Elber among those representing the Germans. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was on the scoresheet once again, although this time his strike came right at the start of the match. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side benefited from a late flurry of goals, as the 61,175 fans in attendance were afforded a little more comfort than those who were there on that glorious night in Barcelona!
Scorers: Solskjaer 5, Yorke 30, Butt 79, Saha 85, Beckham 90.
United squad: Schmeichel, van der Gouw, Pilkington; G. Neville, Stam, Brown, Johnsen, Berg, Irwin, Silvestre, May; Beckham, Butt, Scholes, Greening, Blomqvist, Poborsky; Yorke, Saha, Cole, Solskjaer, Sheringham.
Has our look-back at this quartet of classics whetted your appetite for Saturday? Legends of the North tickets are still available to buy here.