- Paul Scholes takes us back to the time when Manchester United was defeated by Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in two Champions League finals in three succesive years.
In 2009, Barcelona thrashed Manchester United 2-0 in Rome. They also did it again banking a 3-1 victory against Red Devils in London during the finals.
“We were quite unlucky really. In any other era, we might have won four, five, or six European Cups,” Scholes said.
“But If I go a bit further back and think of the Real Madrid side that we played against… They had the Brazilian Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, [Fernando] Redondo was unreal, Raúl, Roberto Carlos, [Fernando] Hierro, Iker Casillas in goal, that was a team that was just ridiculous,” the English midfielder explained.
“You could go right through the team. In midfield, you had Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Sergio Busquets, and Lionel Messi. [Thierry] Henry on the left. Center halves of Gerard Piqué and Carles Puyol. Just unreal. They’re without a doubt the best team I’ve played against. They’re one of the best teams that’s ever been.” He added.
Scholes is universally recognized as United’s unmatched legend. He won the UEFA Champions League twice, in 1999 and 2008. Their worst defeat at the hands of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona was when they eagerly needed to retain the trophy from the precious victory.
In 2000, United’s defense of the title collapsed in the quarterfinal stage after losing out to eventual champions Real Madrid 3-2 on aggregate, thanks to a loss at Old Trafford after a 0-0 draw in Spain.
His remarkable season was the 2002/03 campaign. He struck an incredible 20 goals in all competitions, a total that would be a fair return for a Centre-forward.
He was in stunning form as Manchester United claimed domestic glory, having been pipped to the post by Arsenal the year before.
Scholes’ greatest game that season was in a 6-2 victory over Newcastle at St. James’ Park in which he scored a terrific hat-trick. It cemented his place as one of the premier goal-scoring midfielders in Britain. He had great moments playing for Sir Alex’s side.