Two of the most relieved men in Moscow, back in May 2008, when Nicolas Anelka had his penalty saved by Edwin van der Sar were surely Rio Ferdinand and Cristiano Ronaldo
The Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea was played out in torrents of rain in Moscow and wrapped up around midnight (local time) amid crazy scenes.
The match itself had finished 1-1 and would be decided by penalties. Cristiano Ronaldo, who had scored a header during the game, missed his penalty and was on course to be the fall-guy. That was until Chelsea captain John Terry slipped in the run-up to his penalty, missed and sent the shoot-out into sudden death.
Anderson (with a cracking strike), and Ryan Giggs, then scored, with Salomon Kalou responding for Chelsea, but they missed the next one through Nicolas Anelka.
We will let Rio Ferdinand – who penned this tribute to United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar back in 2015 – to take up the rest of the tale:
“When Manchester United needed him he was always there… big moments, one important save to make in the game etc. – he was there with no fuss! The triangle of Edwin, myself and Vida [Nemanja Vidic] will never be forgotten.
“P.S, Thank God he never listened to me and dived the other way in the Champions League final vs Chelsea!!!”
Van der Sar was one of the United heroes on that night and he is behind an ‘inside story’ documentary on the game called Rain in Moscow, which will raise funds to help those affected by brain haemorrhages and other brain damage.
In the documentary, Ferdinand provides his take on the big moments from that night and offers up an interesting revelation.
“I was next [to take a penalty] after Anelka. That is why I was going crazy even more, because I did not want to take a penalty.”
Wet and wild scenes.
Ronaldo also tweeted out another clip of the documentary:
Looks like a great watch, for United fans at least.