Club World Cup 2008
Champions of the world. It rolls off the tongue rather nicely, doesn’t it?
It’s a title Sir Alex’s men earned in December 2008 when the Reds, competing at the annual FIFA Club World Cup as representatives of Europe after winning the Champions League in Moscow seven months prior, beat Ecuador’s LDU Quito 1-0 in Yokohama, Japan.
It was a taxing trip to the Far East – players and staff struggled for days with jetlag and a lack of sleep – that also included a hugely entertaining 5-3 semi-final win against Japanese side Gamba Osaka.
The final was less thrilling, a stop-start affair punctuated by referee Ravshan Irmatov blowing for 43 fouls and sending off United defender Nemanja Vidic on 59 minutes for what he deemed as use of an elbow. Eventually, though, the match was settled by Wayne Rooney’s low curling shot with 17 minutes to play.
The win made official what many had suspected for the past 12 months: Sir Alex’s Manchester United were the best side in the world.
Club World Cup
23 December 2008
LDU QUITO 0
MANCHESTER UNITED 1 (Rooney 73)
LDU Quito: Cevallos; N Araujo, Calle (Ambrosi 77), Bolanos (Navia 87), Urrutia; Reasco (Larrea 82), Calderon, W Araujo, Bieler; Manso, Campos
United: van der Sar; Rafael (Neville 85), Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Ronaldo, Carrick, Anderson (Fletcher 88), Park; Rooney, Tevez (Evans 51)