Where Are They Now? Manchester United Champions League Final 2008 Starting XI

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It has been almost nine years since Manchester United won their third European cup after defeating fellow English club Chelsea in the 2008 final. 

It was an entertaining final, with Cristiano Ronaldo heading United ahead midway through the first-half, before Frank Lampard equalised for Chelsea on the stroke of half-time. 

No more goals were scored during the rest of the 90 minutes and extra-time, so the game went to penalties. After Ronaldo missed United’s third penalty, John Terry had the chance to win the Champions League for Chelsea should he score, however his shot hit the post due to him slipping as he struck the ball. 

It was Nicolas Anelka’s penalty that was saved by Edwin van der Sar which gave Manchester United the win.

Here, we will be looking at the 11 players that started for Manchester United that day and how their careers have panned out.

1. Edwin van der Sar

Status: Retired

Van Der Sar proved to be the hero of the final, with his penalty save ensuring the Champions League trophy was heading back to Old Trafford.

The Dutchman spent another three seasons at United which included two more Premier League titles, a League cup, a Club World Cup and a Community Shield victory. 

He reached the Champions League final again with United three seasons following the 2008 final, where they met Barcelona. United lost the game 3-1, and a week later Van Der Sar announced his retirement from football.

He made one brief appearance for his old side VV Noordwijk, however he hung his boots up for good following the game.

He is now a general director at Dutch club Ajax, after what was a stellar career for the goalkeeper.

2. Wes Brown

Manchester United v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Final

Status : Blackburn Rovers

Wes Brown was one of the more experienced faces in United’s starting line up. He was in his 11th season with the Red Devils and was playing in his second Champions League final – although he was an unused substitute in United’s 1998-1999 final against Bayern Munich. 

Brown spent another three seasons at Old Trafford, however he only played a total of 34 Premier League games during that time.

In 2011, he left United and spent five seasons playing for Sunderland, before moving to Blackburn Rovers where he has undertaken a player-coach role, in which he offers advice and assistance to the players in the club’s development squads.

3. Rio Ferdinand

Manchester United's English defender Rio

Status: Retired

Rio Ferdinand was the club captain for the 2008 final. He was a crucial figure in United’s run to the final in Moscow, and proved to be a crucial figure also during the final.

Ferdinand proceeded to play for another six seasons at Old Trafford – which included three more Premier League titles, two League cup wins and four Community Shield triumphs. 

He played a total of 445 games for United, but wasn’t offered a contract extension beyond its expiry in 2014. Still believing he was able to play at England’s highest level, Ferdinand signed for Queens Park Rangers for the 2014-15 Premier League season.

He only managed 12 appearances with Rangers in an injury stricken end to his career, and announced his retirement at the end of the 2015 season.

Ferdinand is now a football pundit. He signed for BT Sport following his retirement, and now helps cover the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League.

4. Nemanja Vidic

Manchester United v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Final

Status: Retired

Nemanja Vidic partnered captain Rio Ferdinand in the centre of defence for United in the 2008 final. It was his third season with United, yet he was seen as one of the most dominant defenders in Europe at the time. 

He spent a further six years at Old Trafford – which included three more Premier League titles, two League Cups and three Community Shield triumphs.

He made a further 202 appearances for the club, before joining Italian side Internazionale upon his contract expiration at Old Trafford. 

He spent two seasons at Inter, however he did not play a single game during his second season after manager Roberto Mancini – who succeeded Walter Mazzarri, the man who brought Vidic to Inter – relegated the Serbian to the bench.

Vidic announced his retirement from football in January 2016.

5. Patrice Evra

Manchester United v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Final

Status: Marseille

Patrice Evra was United’s left-back during the 2008 final, and managed to play the whole 120 minutes during the match.

He was playing in his third season with the Red Devils, and was playing in his second Champions League final – he represented Monaco in the 2003 final where he ended on the losing side against Porto.

Following the Champions League triumph, Evra spent a further six years at Old Trafford, winning three more Premier League titles.

He made a further 281 appearances for the club, before joining Serie A side Juventus for £1.5m. He spent three years at the Italian giants, winning back-to-back Serie A and Coppa Italia titles .

The 36-year-old moved to Marseille at the start of the current season, who are currently looking to qualify for the Champions League after a disaster-filled few seasons at the French club.

6. Owen Hargreaves

Manchester United v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Final

Status: Retired

Owen Hargreaves was in his first season with United when they reached the final in 2008. 

He played all 120 minutes during the match, and scored United’s fourth penalty in the shootout which kept his team alive.

The following season was hampered with injury for the Englishman, only managing three appearances in all competitions.

Even though he spent a further three years at Old Trafford, he made a total of five appearances in all competitions during that time. 

He then signed for their fierce rivals Manchester City in 2011, however he was once again hampered by injury, only making four appearances in a city shirt that season. 

After not being signed for the following season by City, he briefly trained with Queens Park Ranger, however after the club opted not to offer him a contract, Hargreaves announced his retirement.

He is now a pundit for BT Sport as part of their Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League coverage.

7. Paul Scholes

Manchester United v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Final

Status: Retired

Paul Scholes was the longest serving member for United out of the other members of the starting 11. 

During the final, he was substituted after 87 minutes for fellow United legend Ryan Giggs, and therefore didn’t participate in the shootout. 

He was playing in his 15th season with the club, and proceeded to play another five seasons before announcing his retirement in 2013 after making 718 appearances for United.

He won a total of 11 Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues, three FA Cups and two League Cups.

Scholes began a career in media following his retirement, featuring in ITV’s coverage of Champions League and England international matches, making brief appearances on Sky Sports and BT Sports covering the Premier League.

8. Michael Carrick

Manchester United v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Final

Status: Manchester United

Michael Carrick started alongside Paul Scholes in the centre of midfield for the final. He played the whole 120 minutes in the final and scored United’s second penalty in the shootout.

Carrick was playing in his second season with United, and is one of only two members of the starting 11 that still currently plays for United.

He has since made 356 appearances for the club, which has included three more Premier League titles and an FA Cup triumph.

When fit, he is usually a popular and reliable choice for manager Jose Mourinho, and will look to add a Europa League title to his honours list when United face Ajax in the Europa League final next week.

9. Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United's Portugese midfielder

Status: Real Madrid

Arguably United’s best player at the time, Cristiano Ronaldo had scored seven goals in 10 Champions League appearances coming into the final.

It was his goal which opened the scoring and put United 1-0 up, only to be cancelled out by Frank Lampard’s equalising goal on the verge of half-time. He played all 120 minutes in the final, however missed United’s third penalty to give Chelsea the upper hand.

Ronaldo finished as the top goalscorer in the competition with eight goals, and later that year won the prestigious Ballon d’Or award.

He spent one more season at United, before moving to European giants Real Madrid for a world record fee of £80m.

He is currently in his eighth season with Madrid, and has won two more Champions Leagues as well as a La Liga title and two Copa Del Rey titles. On top of this, he has also won three more Ballon d’Or awards since signing for Madrid, and is seen as arguably the world’s best footballer.

10. Wayne Rooney

Manchester United's English forward Wayn

Status: Manchester United

Wayne Rooney was just 22-years-old when he started for Manchester United in the final of the Champions League in 2008.

Whilst only 22, he was a key member of United’s run to the final and became a crucial part of United’s starting 11.

In the final, Rooney struggled to leave his mark on the game, and was substituted 11 minutes into the first half of extra-time.

Rooney is one of only two members of the starting 11 – along with Michael Carrick – who still play for United, and is currently in his 13th season with the club.

He has since won three Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups.

He has struggled to find a regular place in Mourinho’s starting line up this season due to injury and loss of form, however will be keen to add to his trophy collection with their upcoming Europa League final against Ajax, providing he has the opportunity to do so.

11. Carlos Tevez

Manchester United v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Final

Status: Shanghai Shenhua

The final member of the starting 11 was Carlos Tevez. The Argentine was enjoying a successful first season at United and scored four goals during United’s run to the final.

He scored 34 goals in 99 appearances for United, however rather than going on to becoming a club legend, he instantly turned into a villain after his controversial transfer to rivals Manchester City in 2009.

During his time at both Manchester clubs, he won three Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup.

After three seasons at City, he took his talents to Juventus where he scored 50 goals in just 95 appearances.

After a brief return his his boy-hood club Boca Juniors, Tevez made a big-money transfer to Shanghai Shenhua, where he plays alongside Fredy Guarin and Obafemi Martins.

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