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Ex-players share their stories of Manchester United’s historic Treble-winning season

When Ferguson announced his team for the Champions League final against Bayern Munich, there were a few raised eyebrows, including from within his own camp.

Both Paul Scholes and Roy Keane were unavailable through suspension but even disregarding that, the team looked unusual. Swedish winger Jesper Blomqvist started on the left wing, which meant Giggs was moved to the right and Beckham into central midfield.

Blomqvist had deputised for Giggs on plenty of occasions during the season but only scored once in all competitions.

Meanwhile, Giggs says that right wing was “not a position that I enjoyed playing at all”.

McClaren reveals he tried to convince Ferguson to reconsider his team, but that his manager insisted he had already told Blomqvist he would be playing.

Schmeichel says the team felt “unbalanced” and full-back Denis Irwin says he would “never have called” that selection.

Meanwhile, defender David May, who was left out of the starting XI, says there were “a few things” he wanted to say to his manager but “wouldn’t” and “couldn’t” because of the respect he had for him.

United were frustrated for much of the match. When Sheringham replaced Blomqvist after 67 minutes, Beckham was returned to the right wing and with five minutes to play, Giggs moved back to the left.

Right-back Neville says that’s when “things started to feel normal”.

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