UTD Podcast: 2008 European Cup winners
The official Manchester United podcast has put a plethora of decorated players in front of the microphone since it was launched three years ago - including many members of the fabled 2007/08 squad.
The men who lifted the European Cup in Moscow after beating Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out in the Champions League final were also crowned Premier League champions, for the second campaign in a row.
Each member of the squad had plenty to say, therefore, when they shared their incredible stories with UTD Podcast, which was shortlisted this week for next month's British Podcast Awards.
Owen Hargreaves is the latest player from that group to record their memories, and you can hear what he has to say from Monday. Here's a reminder of the team-mates who have also appeared on the pod, with a quote from each. To listen to their episode, just click the player's name...
The charismatic French left-back featured in a much-loved episode that was released in May 2020. He had countless memories to share, including this one which summed up Sir Alex Ferguson's mentality. “I always say that [Didier] Deschamps taught me winning is important, but [Sir Alex] Ferguson taught me that winning is normal. I remember after big wins against Liverpool, he just said, ‘Well done, son’. He was never screaming, apart from when we won the Champions League final.”
The former England centre-back, now a highly successful TV pundit, spoke to the UTD Podcast team in November 2021. He reflected on what it felt like to captain the side on that momentous night in Moscow, admitting: "That for me was the icing on the cake in my whole career at United. The Champions League is the holy grail in club football. To be able to lead the team out, to win the final and to lift the trophy... that's the most emotional I've ever been on a football pitch in my life. I was crying."
Our all-time record goalscorer appeared on the UTD Podcast in November 2020, and discussed a range of topics, from his individual accolades to the wrath of Sir Alex Ferguson. Rooney also revealed that the 2008 United squad believed they should have emulated our 1999 side by winning the Treble - a quest that ended when Portsmouth knocked the Reds out of the FA Cup, after Edwin van der Sar went off injured and substitute goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak was dismissed.
"We should have done it. Still to this day, I think of that Portsmouth game at Old Trafford. I think the biggest mistake the manager made was not putting me in goal [instead of Rio Ferdinand]. Honestly, have you seen Rio’s dive [when he tried to save the penalty]?"
The stature of Scholes's remarkable career is highlighted by the fact that he was a part of both United's 1999 Treble-winning squad and our 2008 side, two of the best teams assembled in our history. He appeared on the UTD Podcast in January 2020, when he recalled telling Sir Alex he wanted to come out of retirement.
"I was nervous, I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, so I waited for the manager to come in. This must have been half eight in the morning, and I went to see him. I said ‘I want to play again and I feel okay’. I think I said 'if you don’t want me then that is fine, I will play for anyone'. Phil [Neville] was at Everton at the time and he said ‘come and play for us if they don’t want you to play’. I tell you what, within 30 seconds the manager was on the phone to David Gill to sort the contract out. It was that quick."
A player renowned for his extravagant celebrations and fancy footwork, Nani was a guest on the UTD Podcast in May 2020. The Portuguese winger was a pivotal member of Sir Alex's 2008 side and his creativity and flair never failed to amaze our supporters. Nani stayed at the home of compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo when he first moved to the club in 2007, and on the UTD Podcast he told us what it was like to live with the now iconic superstar.
"Cristiano was very competitive. When you’re staying in his house for a day, it means he challenges you at any time. He had a swimming pool, a tennis court and ping-pong table. Sometimes, it’s just competing to see who knows who’s telling the truth, or who is right about something. Every time, there was a discussion to see who was right or who was better."
The Poland international was part of our goalkeepers union alongside Reds legend Edwin van der Sar. Kuszczak made 16 appearances for the club in 2007/08, contributing to our Premier League and Champions League double. When he was a guest on the UTD Podcast in November 2020, he shared the reality of his relationship with van de Sar.
"“I didn’t get what I really wanted. I wanted to be goalkeeper number one for Manchester United, but I respected Edwin because he was a fantastic goalkeeper. If I had to lose against someone, or be stopped from getting to number one, it would be by a guy like Edwin. Edwin is Edwin. I always said, even before I signed with Manchester United, for me he was one of the best, when I watched his games with Fulham and Ajax. When I was 11 years old, Edwin had already won the Champions League. What we’re talking about is a fantastic career for this guy. He played very well for a long time."