The Manchester United team that won the Treble in 1999 will go down in history as one of the greatest of all time. The side who played the Champions League Final that year were short of their inspirational captain, and talismanic ginger genius, but still managed to pull it out of the bag. So of the side who started, and finished, that fateful game in the Nou Camp stadium on the 26th of May, who’s gone on to greener pastures and who’s fallen on tougher times? Manchester United’s Treble winners, where are they now?
Well, I’ll tell you.
Peter Schmeichel – Retired from English football at the end of the season, and then didn’t, and came back to play for Aston Villa and eventually Manchester City. He scored a cracking volley for Villa against Everton, becoming the first keeper to do so since the inception of the Premier League, and despite moving to United’s hated rivals City, made amends by denying their other hated rivals Liverpool a Champions League spot in his final game proper. He went on to try his hand at punditry on Match of The Day, impressing us all with his no nonsense critiques and bizarre Danish-Manc accent. He now hosts the Danish version of gameshow 1 vs 100 and presents the Discovery Channel programme Dirty Jobs, a decision possibly inspired by his old Reebok ad campaign as a pig farmer.
Gary Neville – Still at United, still just as passionate, still hasn’t grown a beard.
Jaap Stam – Despite being one of the best defenders in the world, and looking like he ate children on his days off, Stam was unceremoniously shipped out of Old Trafford at the peak of his powers after ill advisedly writing a book about his time at United, whilst still enjoying his time at United. This incredibly honest, but incredibly stupid move included the revelation that Ferguson had apparently tapped up the Dutchman while he was still at PSV. He was promptly sold to Lazio where he failed a drugs test, got banned, came back, moved to Milan to join the ‘old world class ageing defenders club’ before ending his career back in Holland with Ajax. Ferguson has since admitted that selling Stam was a mistake, and the player now works back at United as a scout in South America.
Ronny Johnsen – The centerback come midfielder, who’s actual christened name is Jean, retired from football in 2005 after a relatively successful spell at Aston Villa and a completely unsuccessful one at Newcastle. He then did a Schmeichel and changed his mind, moving back to Norway to play for Vålerenga. He retired again in 2008, and hasn’t changed his mind again since.
Denis Irwin – Mr dependable Irwin holds a fairly legendary status at the club after over 500 appearances and a glitteringly successful career. One of the best full backs of his generation, he now works as a pundit on MUtv, hosting “The Big Match with Denis Irwin” where he attempts to explain the tactical successes and failures of recent matches to one of the many attractive female co-hosts it’s now compulsory to have on football programmes.
Ryan Giggs – Is still busy being Ryan Giggs, sometimes doing it better than he did before.
Nicky Butt – Always destined to be in the shadow of captain Roy Keane, Butt moved to Newcastle in 2004 where he still plays and has yet to be hailed as a Messiah. Whilst still at United he excelled for England during the 2002 World Cup where he joined the less than exclusive group of people to have been called “one of the best players in the world” at one time or another by Pele. The list itself unfortunately says more about Pele than it does about Butt.
David Beckham – Left United in 2003 after being hit in the face by a magical flying shoe after which he continued to prove his doubters wrong whilst gracing the famous fields of the Bernabeu, The San Siro and the LA Hope Depot Center. Is still busy being David Beckham and has conclusively beaten Gary Neville in their beard growing contest.
Jesper Blomqvist – Usually used as a left sided cover for Ryan Giggs, Blomqvist didn’t play for United in the seasons following the treble due to a serious knee injury. Despite this Ferguson somehow managed to flog him to Everton, but after a few promising appearances and a goal, his injury problems persisted and after moving around a bit, he eventually moved back to Sweden before retiring in 2005. He then of course decided he didn’t actually want to do this, just as his other Scandinavian team mates did, and returned to playing football in 2008. He’s now assistant manager of Swedish side Hammarby.
Andy Cole – Coley is the only member of the squad with the distinction of having a single reach number 64 in the UK charts. He was voted the 9th best player in the world at the 1999 World Player of the Year awards and continued to shine for United, breaking Dennis Law’s European goal record (subsequently broken itself by Ruud van Nistelrooy) before being sold to Blackburn in 2001. During his time at Rovers he wont the only medal that eluded him at Old Trafford, scoring the goal that beat Glen “God loves me cos I have legs” Hoddle’s Tottenham in the League Cup final. He went on to play for several clubs, scoring fairly regularly for all of them before retiring in 2008 whilst at his hometown club Notts Forest. An occasional pundit on MUtv and on Sky, where he challenges Jamie Redknapp in the shiny suit and uncomfortably tight looking trouser department, he remains a fan of the club and still lives in his Cheshire home near most of his old United colleagues. He was last seen coaching strikers for old teammates Paul Ince at MK Dons and Lee Clark at Huddersfield.
Dwight Yorke – The smiling assassin was voted the 10th best player in the world at the 1999 World Player of the Year awards, but didn’t enjoy as good a career post treble as Cole. Despite a hat trick in the 6-1 rout of Arsenal, he fell foul of Ferguson after one too many holidays in Jordan. After a stuttering career at Blackburn and Birmingham he moved to Australia to become the marquee player for Sydney FC. This didn’t last long however and he returned to England with Sunderland to work with former team mate Roy Keane. It’s currently unknown whether or not he’s retired, but he isn’t playing for anyone. He may be coming to a club near you soon. Whether it’s of the football or night variety, is anyone’s guess.
The Super Subs:
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – Injury blighted much of his remaining career at United, but he continued to score frequently whenever he was called upon and has now gained a legendary status at the club for not just his on field exploits, but also his backing of MUST during the Glazer takeover. He’s currently the Reserve Team coach at Old Trafford and helping to groom the future starts of Manchester United.
Teddy Sheringham – Went on to peak at the startling age of 35 by winning the PFA and FWA Player of the Year awards in 2001. He moved back to Spurs at the end of the season and continued to play in the top flight (despite a brief spell in the Championship) until he was 41. He ended his career at Colchester in 2007 with exactly the same haircut as he’d started with. He occasionally works as a pundit during iTV’s Champions League coverage where he seems to made of artificially preserved boiled ham.