Following last week’s 2-2 draw at Old Trafford, Manchester United faces a case of déjÃ vu tomorrow when they visit FC Porto for their second leg UEFA Champions League Quarter Final clash. Five years ago, they found themselves entering a Champions League First Knockout Round match-up down 2-1. Jose Mourinho’s FC Porto proceeded to snatch a last minute equalizer to knock United out of the competition.
Not forgeting 2004’s memorable game, our friends at the BBC have put together one of those lovely “Where are they now” articles featuring the managers and players of Manchester United vs. FC Porto 2004. It’s quite insighful and a good read. So if you are wondering whatever happened to the likes of Eric Djemba-Djemba, Kleberson, David Bellion, Victor Baia or Carlos Alberto then look no further than this link!
Here’s an excerpt from the article on reigning FIFA World Player of the Year – Cristiano Ronaldo:
Cristiano Ronaldo replaced Fletcher (74 minutes)
Then: A £12.25m signing from Sporting Lisbon the previous summer, Ronaldo’s first season at Old Trafford was not an out-and-out success. He produced flashes of amazing skill but was widely regarded as something of a show pony and was not a definite starter. He lasted only nine minutes of this match before being stretchered off with an ankle injury.Porto’s captain at Old Trafford that night, Jorge Costa, told BBC Sport: “I’d known Cristiano since his time with Sporting.”In 2004 he was a wonderful player but still a young player. He has made a magnificent improvement since then. Did I think he would become so good? No, for me it was a surprise.”
Now: Matured into one of the world’s best players, with his haul of 42 club goals last season seeing him crowned European and World footballer of the year in 2008. The Portuguese winger has managed 20 goals so far this season but has not hit the heights of last season. Continues to be linked with a move to Real Madrid, despite insisting he is happy at United.
Here are highlights of the 2004 Manchester United vs. FC Porto second leg UEFA Champions League Quarter Final match for those of you feeling reminiscent today.