Which countries' clubs have United faced least?

Wednesday 14 September 2022 13:09

Yesterday, we revealed which UEFA nations United had faced most regularly, with Spain proving our most frequent supplier of opponents.

But ahead of Thursday's Europa League game with Sheriff, we're now turning our attentions to the countries we've encountered on just one solitary occasion (over home and away games).

Moldova will join this intriguing list after our game against Sheriff in Chisinau later this week, and Cyprus can be added after we play Omonia in Nicosia on matchday three.
But which countries make the list as it stands now? Find out below, starting with a rare trip to Finland back in the swinging sixties...
Team faced: HJK Helsinki
Year: 1965
Competition: 1965/66 European Cup
What happened? Our one and only encounter with Finnish opposition came in the preliminary round of the 1965/66 European Cup. We ran out 3-2 winners at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki in the first leg, before smashing the visitors 6-0 in the second leg, thanks to a hat-trick from John Connelly.

Which countries' clubs have we faced most?


Ahead of our first game in Moldova, we reveal which nations have most frequently provided United's opponents in Europe.

Team faced: Hibernians
Year: 1967
Competition: 1967/68 European Cup
What happened? Malta is a country that has long been associated with United – our first overseas supporters' club was formed there in 1959 – but we have played just one competitive game on Maltese soil. That came in the first round of the 1967/68 European Cup. We won the first leg 4-0 at Old Trafford thanks to a pair of braces from David Sadler and Denis Law, but Hibernians fought hard to earn a goalless draw in the return, in front of 25,000 fans at the Empire Stadium.
Team faced: FK Sarajevo
Year: 1967
Competition: 1967/68 European Cup
What happened? After dispatching Hibernians, United moved on to the tougher challenge of an away trip to Sarajevo – then part of the federation of Yugoslavia. A goalless draw in the away leg set up a grandstand finish at Old Trafford, and a game full of intelligent football and physical hardship. Goals in either half from John Aston Jnr and George Best settled the tie in the Reds' favour, and a red card for Fahrudin Prljaca reduced the visitors to 10 men. FK Sarajevo cut United's lead during the game's final minutes, but an equaliser proved beyond them. United were into the quarter-finals, and on the way towards the club's – and England's – first European Cup.
Team faced: Spartak Varna
Year: 1983
Competition: 1983/84 Cup Winners' Cup
What happened? A straightforward win for Ron Atkinson's United. Goals from Bryan Robson and Arthur Graham did the business in Varna, giving us a 2-1 lead to take back to Old Trafford, with the only black spot being a yellow card for Ray Wilkins which ruled him out of the second leg. But Atkinson need not have worried: two goals from Frank Stapleton put our progression beyond doubt in M16, taking us through to our first European quarter-final since the Busby era.
Team faced: Kosice
Year: 1997
Competition: 1997/98 Champions League
What happened? A pair of 3-0 wins meant a pleasant first experience against Slovakian opposition for Sir Alex Ferguson's United. An excellent Denis Irwin goal set us on the way to a comfortable win in Kosice, and strikes from Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham laid the foundations for an identical win when the sides reconvened at Old Trafford. The victory guaranteed our progression through to the knockout stages, where we would ultimately fall to Monaco in the quarter-finals.
The champions of Europe take a stroll round Zagreb, just a few months after winning the Treble.
Team faced: Dinamo Zagreb
Year: 1999
Competition: 1999/2000 Champions League
What happened? The first and only visit by a Croatian side to Old Trafford resulted in a surprise goalless draw on matchday one of the 1999/2000 Champions League group stage. United were reigning European champions after the astonishing Treble success, but a Zagreb side managed by Ossie Ardiles took advantage of an inexperienced Alex Ferguson XI – featuring youngsters Michael Clegg and Mark Wilson – that was shorn of 10 first-team players due to injury and ineligibility. The Reds fared better in the Croatian capital, however, winning 2-1 thanks to goals from David Beckham and Roy Keane.
Team faced: Astana
Year: 2019
Competition: 2019/20 Europa League
What happened? United eked out an important 1-0 win at Old Trafford on matchday one of the 2019/20 Europa League group stage, but fell to a 2-1 reverse when we travelled to Kazakhstan – our furthest European away trip of all time – despite taking the lead through a deflected shot from our captain for the night, Jesse Lingard.