Tennis

Roger Federer played vital role in Man Utd beating Chelsea in Champions League final


Roger Federer unwittingly helped Manchester United topple Chelsea to win the Champions League and Premier League titles in 2008, former assistant Rene Meulensteen has revealed. The Red Devils completed a league and European double at the end of the 2007-08 season – with the help of 20-times Grand Slam champion Federer.

Meulensteen felt that Federer’s ability to adopt a winning mentality in the most important moments would help the United squad in the final weeks of the campaign. United went on a run of just one win in four games at one stage towards the end of the season – losing against Chelsea and drawing with Middlesbrough and Blackburn.

Sir Alex Ferguson felt his players needed a lift as they battled to keep hold of first place in the top-flight, and ahead of their Champions League final against the Blues. The legendary former boss colluded with Meulensteen to ensure United’s stars adopted Federer’s winning mentality.

“I am a keen tennis fan and I have always admired Roger Federer and the way he controls his emotions. I selected five clips of Federer for the boys to watch and asked them to write down which tournament he was appearing in, which set it was and which point,” Meulensteen said.

READ MORE: Ronaldo gave classic interview after Man Utd beat Chelsea in 2008

“I said to the boss after we had won against Barcelona that, even if we beat West Ham and Wigan and are champions, we have to press the restart button ahead of the Champions League final with Chelsea,” Meulensteen added.

“We were 40-30 on our own serve so it was our Federer moment and that is exactly where we needed to be.”

A penalty shootout victory in an all-Premier League Champions League showdown earned United their third and latest triumph in the competition.





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