Our romp through the 2003/04 season continues. After checking in on Ronaldinho at Barca we’re crossing the Clasico divide. A certain David Beckham had joined the Galacticos party in the summer of 2003. Los Blancos had already picked up their first silverware of the season (the Spanish Super Cup) and were hosting Valladolid on the third matchday of the season.
We’ve made it. The match we’ve been working towards. The mother of all comebacks. Of course we went so far down the rabbit hole, that we split the episode up.
In Part One we cover the Champions League season 1998/99, and in detail the path the finalists took to get to Barcelona: Manchester United of England and Bayern Munich of Germany. Topics include Beckham’s summer ’98, the managerial musical chairs of Munich and the learning curve of United’s Class of ’92. Throw in some extra tangents and you end up with a stand-alone episode and a great nostalgia trip.
The minutes, in case you want to jump around:
0:00:00 Memories of the night
0:05:45 England’s exit at France ’98, backlash against Beckham
0:12:45 United’s mentality under Ferguson, missing out on silverware in ’97/98, re-tooling
0:20:40 CL format, qualifiers
0:24:00 State of Bayern Munich in the 90s (managers and performances)
0:35:00 Enter Hitzfeld
0:42:00 Group D for death (United vs Bayern I & II)
0:53:30 Knock-out draw, Quarter-finals (United vs Inter, Bayern vs Kaiserslautern)
1:04:00 United in the CL before ’98/99 retrospective
1:11:30 Semi-finals, United vs Juve
1:16:30 Bayern vs Kiev, a Basler restrospective
1:24:00 End of the season run-ins
As full games go, here’s the match that sent United to Barcelona – their semi-final win in Turin: