Where Are They Now? Manchester United 1999 Champions League Winners
Two goals in the closing minutes stole the trophy from the German champions and gave United one of the most unlikely wins in the competition’s history. Many more titles were to follow, including another Champions League for Ferguson, but that night at the Nou Camp is remembered most fondly by Unitedites. Here is what has happened to that Manchester United 1999 Champions League winning squad.
Captained the side in Roy Keane’s absence and on his United swansong, Schmeichel is best remembered for celebrating with a cartwheel when the Red Devils made it 2-1 in added time. Not bad for the 36-year-old who then went onto lift the trophy with Fergie. Ended his career 12 years ago at the age of 40 after a stint at Manchester City, Schmeichel is now a pundit for the BBC and Danish television, and can also be seen supporting his son Kasper at Leicester City.
Like Schmeichel, Neville has turned to punditry following a successful career, albeit one hindered slightly by injury. Fronting Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, Nev has teamed up with Jamie Carragher and formed a dynamic partnership with the Scouser to become one of the leading lights in the football media. Discontent with that string to his bow, Neville also helps coach the England team next to Roy Hodgson, and is surely destined for greater things in the coming years.
Norwegian Johnsen saw his United career nosedive after the final as he suffered a bad injury that kept him out of the game for a year. However, he returned to the side on the day that United sealed the 1999/2000 Premier League trophy, earning him the rare distinction of featuring in four consecutive title wins! Now a brand ambassador for United and a pundit on Norwegian telly.
Famously fell out with Fergie after some comments in his book, the Scot latterly admitted he was wrong to flog the classy Dutch defender. Sold to Lazio for £15 million in 2001, Stam received a five-month suspension for taking a banned steroid. Moves to AC Milan and Ajax followed before retirement in 2007. Nowadays Stam is working as a coach at Ajax and makes regular, overly-competitive appearances in Soccer Aid.
Left-back Irwin spent 12 years at Old Trafford before deciding to switch for a relegation scrap with Wolves, retiring when the Midlands-side went down in 2004. One of Ferguson’s best signings, Irwin has been busy with media work, notably at MUTV and with Irish broadcasters. Often heard voicing his support for Luke Shaw.
Giggs etched his name deeper into United’s history last season as he took over the managerial reigns from the departed David Moyes. Then 40, Giggs decided to call time on his playing career, one that had spanned over 20 years and over 1000 professional games. Since last season he’s been working alongside Louis van Gaal as United’s assistant manager, and has invested in a series of hotel projects as well as in local amateur side Salford City. His haul of 13 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups, 3 League Cups and 2 Champions League wins will surely never be beaten.
The former England captain is another from the 1999 team who fell out with Ferguson, subsequently moving to Real Madrid in La Liga. Beckham enjoyed success post-United, winning titles in Spain, with LA Galaxy in the USA, and with PSG in France. A loan move to AC Milan was squeezed in between where he made a return to Old Trafford in the Champions League and very nearly scored a wonder strike! Has helped coach England at the 2010 World Cup, bring the Olympics to London and feature in a string of endorsements ranging from Pepsi to the Chinese Football Federation. One of the most likeable and popular sporting figures in the world, many forget he recorded two assists at the Nou Camp to help defeat Bayern.
Very much on the scene as one of the ‘Class of 92′, Butt has attracted the least amount of attention from a group containing Giggs, Becks, Scholes and the Neville brothers. Ended his career playing for Newcastle and then South China, Butt has involvements with Salford City and was part of Giggs’ managerial team last season.
Like Johnsen, Swede Blomqvist struggled post-1999 with injury and did not play for United for two years. Instead he took to TV and starred in cookery shows on MUTV! He spent time at Everton and Charlton before moving back to Sweden where has made frequent comebacks from retirement. Blomqvist played his last game for Hammarby in 2010 and has been mixing media work with studies in commerce.
‘The Smiling Assassin’ featured in a World Cup for Trinidad and Tobago in 2006, arguably pipping the 1999 victory as the biggest moment of his career. The former Villa, Blackburn, Birmingham, Sydney and Sunderland man has enjoyed brief spells as a coach but has spent the majority of his free time as a pundit for Sky Sports alongside Neville. Set to return to playing next season in India, Yorke is a popular figure amongst all football fans.
Cole played for several clubs following his Old Trafford exit in 2002 as his career slowly wound down. Clinical for Blackburn, Fulham and briefly City in 2006, Cole had fleeting spells with Portsmouth, Birmingham, Sunderland, Burnley and Nottingham Forest before retirement in 2008. Like his latter playing career, Cole has had short spells at various clubs as a coach, and worked with United in 2010.
Scorer of the 91st minute equaliser, Sheringham came on as a substitute for Blomqvist and certainly made a difference. Without his impact United would not have gone on to win, and he had a similar effect for England too. At 35, Sheringham headed in just 15 seconds after coming on against Greece in the game England needed to draw to make the World Cup finals. The forward played well into his 40s with West Ham and then Colchester before getting into poker. Now coaches the strikers at West Ham.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Solskjaer famously scored the winning goal in Barcelona, stabbing in from a Beckham corner to give United the big-eared trophy, and has been one of the more popular United figures ever since. Given a heroes welcome when returning as manager last season, Solskjaer failed badly with Cardiff City and was sacked following a poor start to the Championship. He had previously earned a decent reputation as a manager with Molde in Norway, and will surely bounce back as a credible coach again one day.