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Nou Camp 99 - A view from inside the stadium

Champions League Our penultimate story of the memories of 99' (one more coming before the match folks!) comes from Andy who was actually sat in the stands urging United on in that night in May 9 years ago!

This was a very special day for me. After watching Man Utd since 1995, to travel to Barcelona to watch my team play in one of their biggest matches in their history was a dream come true. I was at both FA Cup semi finals against Arsenal, there to see the last minute goal in the FA Cup against Liverpool, the early high scoring Barcelona game, the home leg of the Juventus semi final, every other home game, the Premisership trophy presentation, the FA Cup Final. There was just one trophy which would make my year "complete".

Stepping off the plane in Barcelona, the heat and beautiful spring climate hit me. The city was bustling with reds. There were literally hundreds of thousands of Man Utd fans there and not one bit of trouble. There was something special about that season. The bunch of players, the fans, the manager. Everything felt perfect. Men, women, children all smiling and confident.

I saw the Barcelona cathedral. It is quite stunning and something I want to go back and get a picture of one day seeming as I forgot to put a film in my camera! We had a drink at a cafe and sitting at the cafe opposite was Ron Atkinson and a few other presenters/commentators from ITV.

Entering the Nou Camp, I wasn't very impressed. It's pretty old and unimpressive....but then you go properly into the ground to find your seat and wow. I nearly fell down the steps I was that amazed. It is so steep. If I'd have fallen, I really would have toppled all the way down! The ground was empty too as we'd arrived early so it felt very likely that I was going to die. We were right near the top too so I was glad to find my seat then I could cling onto it for my dear life.

Any early high confidence was soon knocked down as Bayern took the lead. Schmeichel should have done better. And that was it. After an amazing season, we just didn't get into second gear during that game. We hardly created a chance the whole "90 minutes" and it looked like our dream had come to and end. Cole and Yorke were poor. They had a great partnership that year but it just wouldn't work in the European Cup Final. They were then replaced by Sheringham and Solskjaer. Terrible management tongue.gif. Bayern continued to put on the pressure, hitting the bar and post in the space of 10 minutes.

On 90 minutes my mum picked up our programme and said "well that's that then". I replied "at least we've been". I then found that a split second can change your whole life. It was like being on the lucky side of a parallel universe. I saw Giggs miskick, then Sheringham, then it went in. I was stunned. I didn't even go crazy. I just stared in amazement. My mum wasn't afraid of the height anymore. She was dancing on her seat! Then I was stunned again. Solskjaer had somehow scored another. It all felt like a dream. My mum even missed the second goal cos she was too busy celebrating the first. Nothing compares to that feeling you get when your team scores a goal. To me that feeling is life.

The celebrations after the match were great. They weren't shown in full on tv so you had to be there to know how good they were. Each player in turn walking to the cup and telling the crowd to be silent then lifting the trophy for a huge cheer.

I've heard the award winning ITV commentary many times now and I can't imagine the match without it anymore. It feels like it was there in the background when I was in Barcelona! I particularly love the line "where were you in the 1999 European Cup Final and some of you will reply "I was there"".

This isn't a great description of the day but that's because the day was indescribable. Days like that don't come around often. Infact, days like are never to be repeated.

Andy 

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