MANCHESTER UNITED were crowned kings of Europe in the first all-English Champions League final 12 years ago today after clinching a dramatic penalty shootout 6-5 against Chelsea in Moscow.
Keeper Edwin van der Sar saved Nicolas Anelka’s spot-kick – after Blues skipper John Terry had the chance to win the club its first European title.
But he slipped as he struck his penalty and crumpled in a heap, head in his hands.
Terry sobbed uncontrollably as he watched rival captain Rio Ferdinand lift the trophy in a game which both teams could have won but ended deadlocked at 1-1 after extra time.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored in normal time, but then also missed his penalty, said afterwards: “This is football.I thought we were going to lose. I score the goal, then miss the penalty, the worst day of my life.
“But the lads did the proper job and I feel very proud for them. It means everything for me.”
Hero Van der Sar, who lost on penalties in 1996 with Ajax against Juventus said: “Twelve years ago we lost on penalties and we’ve won it now. It’s unbelievable.”
Terry’s England team-mate Frank Lampard said: “John is Mr Chelsea. He wants it more than anyone and not many centre-halves would stand up and take a penalty of that importance.
“John did what he did and he will be back. If he hadn’t slipped when he was taking the penalty we would have won the game.”
Looking back years later, Terry said he was confident in his abilities from the spot and even practised Panenka penalties in training.
He told beIN Sports: “On the build up to the finals you take penalties and you go through routines, and you do the walk from the halfway line.”
“We’d been doing that for two weeks at the training ground and I’d been drinking them down the middle like the Panenka!”
Lampard added: “This result is hard to take but Chelsea will come back stronger because we’ve got a team of giants in the dressing room.
“We deserved to win. Nobody could deny we didn’t. We completely dominated the game and created countless chances.
“The best team didn’t win, but that’s football. Losing like that is very hard to take.”
Jubilant manager Sir Alex Ferguson dedicated the triumph to the Busby Babes, 50 years after the Munich disaster.
He said: “It was such an emotional occasion. I said the day before the game we would not let the memory of the Busby Babes down.
“And fate played its part even in John Terry slipping. We had a cause and people with causes become difficult people to play against.”
In the game itself the match finished 1-1 after extra time. Ronaldo headed United in front after 26 minutes, but Lampard equalised before the interval.