England might not be among the countries to produce the best talents around the world in recent years, but just over a decade ago, their clubs were among the best in Europe. Naturally, a major reason for it was the performance and the quality of their players and their functioning as a team. This domino effect naturally attracted furthermore talent from all across the world.
Bixente Lizarazu, the famous Bayern Munich left-back, has recently revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson had made an attempt to bring him to Old Trafford during his tenure at the club, but Bayern Munich wouldn’t have any of it, and hence, rejected the bid.
Speaking to FourFourTwo whilst featuring in the August edition of their magazine, the World Cup winner said: “I had the chance, I think in about 2001 or 2002, to go to Manchester United, but it stopped very quickly as Bayern Munich said no.
“Alex Ferguson was keen to sign me and United had talks with Bayern, but Bayern said there was no question that I’d be leaving and so I was staying with them. I was very happy in Munich, but Manchester United did try.”
The 47-year-old enjoyed an illustrious career in the 90’s and 2000’s, playing in France, Spain, and Germany. He is best known for his role at Bayern Munich and Bordeaux. He achieved greater success with the Bavarians, though, winning 6 titles and a Champions League(2000/01) with them in the two spells he served at Munich put together.
He also played 97 games for the French International side, alongside legends like Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry. He went on to win the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 Euro Cup with them.
He was ruled out of the historic 1999 Champions League final between Manchester United and Bayern Munich due to an injury. The game would later come to haunt the Germans, as the English managed to score two goals in stoppage time to win the Champions League at Barcelona and complete their treble.
Lizarazu: Fergie wanted to bring me to Man United, but Bayern Munich said no. pic.twitter.com/2scwvARWAa
— José Mourinho-MUFC (@Utd_JM) July 6, 2017
But the Frenchman believes it was the hurt and pain out of losing in the final few minutes against the English side which propelled them to win the same tournament two seasons later, defeating Valencia on penalties.
He said: “We were the better team in that  final. I couldn’t do anything apart from go out onto the pitch after the game and help my friends who were crying.
“It was so terrible to see all of my team-mates in that state. That day gave us the power to go and win the Champions League two years later, I’m very sure about it. We took all of the frustration from the 1999 final and then used it to help us beat Valencia.”
After retiring from football after winning the World Cup and the Euros to becoming a European Jiu-Jitsu champion and a football pundit, one can say he knows what he’s talking about.
Written by Srivats Venkateswaran
Sports writer with a long experience of writing in football.Was football team head at EssentiallySports. Still deeply misses Sir Alex and Berbatov at United. An introvert at heart with a poetic hand. Engineer by choice, writer by passion.