Former Manchester United full-back Fabio has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson broke the news that he would be starting the 2011 Champions League Final while the pair were in a lift.
The Brazilian, who was selected for the final ahead of his twin brother Rafael, featured in a back four alongside Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra for the Red Devils.
A surprise inclusion, the full-back played 69 minutes as United were outclassed by a far superior Barcelona team at Wembley as the Spanish side won 3-1 to claim the fourth of their five Champions League triumphs.
Speaking with talkofthedevils, Fabio lifted the lid on his memories of the showpiece occasion, fondly recalling how the legendary Ferguson revealed that the Brazilian would be playing in the biggest match of his United career.
“To be honest, it’s something personal,” revealed the 31-year-old when discussing the build-up to the final. “Something I’ll never forget.
“Two days before the Champions League Final, we were in the elevator. He hadn’t picked the team yet but he said, ‘Son, just be prepared you’re going to play. You deserve to play this game’.
“I can always remember being in the elevator with him coming down to dinner. I’ve never forgotten that since.”
Ferguson’s United were comprehensively beaten as a Lionel Messi-inspired Barcelona played The Red Devils off the Wembley pitch.
Pedro opened the scoring for the Pep Guardiola’s men before Wayne Rooney thumped in an equaliser.
Shortly after the half-time interval, Messi fired Barca back in front from the edge of the area before David Villa curled in a third to put the game out of sight and end United’s hopes of claiming a fourth Champions League trophy, on English soil.
Do you agree with Fabio that United would have won the 2011 Champions League Final if they had scored first? Have your say in the comments.
However, Fabio, who now plies his trade for French club Nantes, believes the result could have been all so different had Ferguson’s men netted the first goal in the final.
“The Barcelona style is nice on the eye and it is effective,” Fabio explained as he reminisced on the 3-1 defeat. “We were not the only good team they defeated.
“I am convinced that if we’d scored the first goal at Wembley – and in Rome (where the 2009 Champions League Final was held) – we would have beaten them.
“If Wayne’s goal had been the first goal of the game. If. I don’t think they would have been able to score past us if we had played in that sort of compact way we did in the 2008 semi-final.”
During his five seasons at Old Trafford, the full-back amassed a mere 56 appearances, helping the club lift the Premier League and Community Shield in 2011.
Fabio gained further Premier League experience as he spent a season on loan at QPR before departing Old Trafford to play under current United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Cardiff City and then moving on to Middlesbrough.Internet Explorer Channel Network