In the first of a regular series, former Manchester United striker Louis Saha talks about his favourite trophy as a Red. Though he was part of a squad which ruled England and Europe, the Frenchman has picked out his very first piece of silverware as the most memorable…
“It’s a hard decision for me, because I appreciate all the trophies I won with United.
”I love the fact that we won the 2007/08 Champions League during my time at the club. Even if I didn’t participate in the final, I played in five of the group stage games so I was part of the team.
“It was also great to be part of the team that won the Premier League the year before that, but in a purely selfish way, I would have to say the League Cup in 2006 was my favourite.
'The start of a great team' Gallery
Eight photos of Louis Saha and United winning the 2006 League Cup.
“I feel like I got my hands on that trophy a little bit more, if you like, because I played in almost every game, scored a few goals in the competition and it was a special trophy for all that followed.
”We had to really battle to get the final, there were two very hard legs of the semi-final against Blackburn and I managed to score in them both, and then we went on to play Wigan in the final at the Millennium Stadium.
“After Wayne Rooney put us ahead in the final, I managed to score our second goal and that was a very special moment for me.
”You play for moments like those. You’re representing such a special club and you know before the game that it’s going to be memorable if you win, so you do everything you can to make sure it’s the best memory you can have.
League Cup final: United 4 Wigan 0Video
“Scoring a goal, getting your hands on that trophy and feeling that you’re part of the history of the club is a feeling that is very unique. It’s hard to find the words to describe it. It’s a privilege and you know it’s a special moment that won’t come along too often, but at the same time it gives you that feeling of wanting more.”
“That League Cup victory was also significant for the club because it was the start of a new team. The club had been through a little bit of a transition where in the space of a few years we had a few big, big players leave the club: David Beckham, Jaap Stam, Roy Keane – these are huge footballers to lose.
”We had some great young players like Rooney and Ronaldo, but they needed time to learn how to express themselves and win. We struggled for maybe half a season or a year to find the right combinations, and in the second half of 2005/06 things started to fall into place.
“The following year we won the Premier League; a year later it was the Premier League and the Champions League, and that great team first began to understand how to win with that League Cup, so it’s a big trophy.
”It was the start of something very special.