Games That Changed My Life

Australian Four Four Two - - CONTENTS -

“WHEN SOME­ONE MEN­TIONS A CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FI­NAL, I’LL THINK OF 2005 BE­FORE ’99. THE PAIN STAYS WITH YOU LONGER”

Nether­lands 0-1 Ger­many April 24, 1996 Friendly

“When I re­ceived my first call from the na­tional coach, Guus Hid­dink, I thought it was a friend play­ing a joke, but it was a proud mo­ment. I was a sub and spent the sec­ond half won­der­ing if I was go­ing to play. With 10 min­utes left I came on to re­place John Veld­man – I was full of nerves but did well. We lost, but at least Ger­many didn’t score while I was on!”

Man United 2-1 B Mu­nich May 26, 1999 Champions League fi­nal

“I couldn’t have wished for a bet­ter first sea­son in Eng­land, winning the Premier League, the FA Cup and then the cli­max to it all. I re­mem­ber look­ing at the Camp Nou clock as the min­utes counted down. It looked bad but Teddy Sher­ing­ham and Ole Gunnar Sol­sk­jaer scored in the best two min­utes of my whole ca­reer. We had a bril­liant party that night to cel­e­brate.”

Italy 0-0 Nether­lands (3-1p) June 29, 2000 Euro­pean Championship

“We were host­ing the Eu­ros and should have won it, but lost to Italy in the semis. We missed two penal­ties dur­ing nor­mal time, then it went to a penalty shootout. I hadn’t been on the orig­i­nal list to take one but the pres­sure got to some of the play­ers, so they asked me to go for­ward. My tech­nique was al­ways to smash it as hard as I could, but it flew over the bar. There’s still a hole in the sta­dium roof...”

Mi­lan 3-3 Liver­pool 3 (2-3p) May 25, 2005 Champions League fi­nal

“When some­one men­tions a Champions League fi­nal, I al­ways think of this be­fore 1999 – the pain of that de­feat stays with you for longer. When the first Liver­pool goal went in, we lost all our or­gan­i­sa­tion and fo­cus. When it got to penal­ties, we were down; they were lifted. But for­get the ru­mours we cel­e­brated at half-time: we had too much ex­pe­ri­ence to do that.”

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