Saturday 25 November 2017

Manchester United 1999 Champions League winners - where are they now?

Manchester United players celebrate the 1999 Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich
Manchester United players celebrate the 1999 Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich

It's 16 years to the day since "that night in Barcelona" when Man United completed their historic treble, and in honour of the achievement, we take a look at what happened to that victorious team.

Peter Schmeichel, goalkeeper

The Champions League final was the Great Dane's final appearance for United. He went on to play for Sporting Lisbon, Aston Villa and Manchester City before retiring in 2003. in retirement, Schmeichel has worked as a TV pundit in Denmark and England, including for the BBC - and appeared on The Weakest Link and Strictly Come Dancing.

Alex Ferguson, Denis Irwin, Ryan Giggs and team mates celebrate their dramatic Champions League success in 1999

Gary Neville, right-back

Played on at United until 2011, before establishing himself as the foremost pundit in the country. Neville has become almost universally popular for his sharp analysis on Sky Sports, and is also a columnist for Telegraph Sport.

Ronny Johnsen, centre-back

Left Manchester in 2002 and retired six years later after spells at Aston Villa, Newcastle and Valerenga. Now works as a TV pundit for Norwegian channel TV2, and enjoys cross-country skiing in his spare time.

Jaap Stam, centre-back

Voted best defender in the Champions League in both 1999 and 2000, Stam was the rock of this team's defence.

In 2001 though amid allegations made by Stam in his autobiography, Sir Alex Ferguson decided to sell the player to Lazio, despite his continuing brilliance on the pitch. Fergie later admitted that the Dutchman was one of the few players he regrets selling.

"At the time he had just come back from an achilles injury and we thought he had just lost a little bit," Ferguson said. "We got the offer from Lazio, £16.5m for a centre-back who was 29. It was an offer I couldn't refuse. But in playing terms it was a mistake."

After quitting playing, Stam went into coaching - first with PEC Zwolle and now with Ajax, where he is an assistant coach who looks after defensive training.

Denis Irwin, left-back

The Irish defender spent 12 years at Old Trafford between 1990 and 2002, and then finished his career with a two-year spell at Wolves. Since retiring, Irwin has worked for RTE and MUTV as a pundit, and is a columnist for Ireland's Sunday World newspaper.

Denis Irwin

Ryan Giggs, right midfield

A club legend, Giggs spent 24 years as a player at United from 1990, and after a brief caretaker manager stint last April, became Louis van Gaal's assistant manager a month later.

In the 1999 Champions League final, Giggs was asked to play on the right wing due to the midfield reshuffle necessitated by Roy Keane and Paul Scholes' suspensions.

David Beckham, central midfield

Part of the 'Class of '92', along with the Nevilles, Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes, Becks made 394 appearances for United before leaving for Real Madrid in 2003.

Went on to win La Liga with Real in 2007, and then enjoyed a five-year spell with LA Galaxy, alongside short-term cameos at AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain. Since retiring, the former England captain has established himself as the most famous man in the world, through a range of enterprises, including modelling, charitable work with UNICEF and the ownership of an MLS expansion team in Miami.

David Beckham is delighted Ryan Giggs, right, has been installed as Manchester United's assistant manager

Nicky Butt, central midfield

A tigerish, if uncomplicated, anchorman who played for United between 1992 and 2004. Butt could never quite hit the same heights after leaving Old Trafford, with underwhelming spells at Newcastle, Birmingham (loan) and South China bringing an end to his career.

Butt is currently the manager of United's reserve team and co-owner of Salford City.

Jesper Blomqvist, left midfield

Along with Johnsen, probably the least heralded of United's starting team against Bayern. Blomqvist started the Champions League final largely due to the Keane and Scholes suspensions, and actually lost his winner's medal in the celebrations but thankfully found it again before returning to Manchester.

A serious knee injury meant he never played for United again, and retired after spells with Everton and Charlton.

After finishing his playing career, Blomqvist began a career in media with Swedish television station TV4.

Dwight Yorke, striker

Known for always playing with a smile on his face, Yorke was a key member of the 1999 treble-winning team. Fell down the pecking order towards the end of his spell at Old Trafford, and was sold to Blackburn in 2002.

Yorke went on play in Australia and then his native Trinidad and Tobago, before hanging up his boots in 2010. In retirement, Yorke has completed his Level B coaching badge, and works as an occasional pundit for Sky Sports.

Dwight Yorke, right, believes 'there was a big announcement supposed to be happening tomorrow and not today'

Andy Cole, striker

'Cole the Goal' formed a lethal partnership with Yorke in the 1998-99 season, but left the club just two years later after the signing of Ruud van Nistelrooy. Played for eight English clubs after leaving United, without any great success, and infamously 'retired' from international football in 2002, despite not really being in contention for selection.

Cole quit all forms of football in 2008, and has since worked as a coach at MK Dons and Huddersfield.

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