Bayern Munich and Manchester United paid homage to one of the greatest matches in Champions League history, fielding teams made up of legendary players in a friendly that ended 3-3 on Saturday.
The Mancunians, in particular, called on players who were present for that magical night at the Camp Nou, when the English team scored twice in stoppage time to steal the win from the Bavarians.
The Red Devils started the day with a beautiful gesture, visiting the Munich Memorial in the morning to pay homage to the Busby Babes. Man United Updates shared this image:
Saturday's event gave the Bavarians a chance to honour their returning World Cup winners, and they were given a standing ovation by the thousands of fans who came out to see this match, via Allianz Insurance:
100% Football shared the starting XI's for both squads, with plenty of legends suiting up in a match German television hyped as a "rematch" for the historic 1999 Champions League final:
Alineaciones FC BAYERN ALL STARS VS MANCHESTER UNITED LEGENDS. pic.twitter.com/J2wcO5A3va— 100% Fútbol (@100FutbolOK) August 9, 2014
The hosts were captained by 62-year-old Paul Breitner, who showed a surprising burst of speed and a not-so-surprising competitive streak. United legend Paul Scholes wore the captain's bracelet for the visitors, who had only three players on the bench.
Man Utd Foundation shared this team photo:
The Red Devils had the best start to the match, however, working the ball around the Bayern box really well. Andy Cole opened the scoring, connecting with a beautiful cross after 10 minutes, but the hosts would equalise through Paulo Sergio within the minute.
Giovanni Elber gave Bayern the lead 10 minutes later, and he gave us arguably the best goal celebration of 2014 by rolling into one of the sponsored mats, via Mia San Worldwide:
Scholes then found himself on the end of a pass from Dwight Yorke to knot things up at 2-2 (to the fury of Breitner, who had just come off to take a breather), but Bayern would grab the lead just before the end of the first half through Christian Zickler.
Bayern-captain Breitner told the Man Utd Foundation what an honour it was to have the club at the Allianz Arena before the match:
When asked during the match how he stays in form, he told the German broadcast (as translated by the author) he "runs for 20 minutes once per week and does nothing in winter."
Elber sat down in the commentary box for the second half, providing plenty of fun soundbites for the German-speaking fans. United came out of half-time dominating possession, but the better chances were for the hosts.
Tomasz Kuszczak showed everyone why he was selected to be the stopper for United in the 64th minute, making a miraculous save on a close-range header from Sergio. Hans-Jorg Butt needed an equally good save on Scholes, as the pace dropped in the second half and players opted to shoot more and pass less.
Yorke remained the most lively player on the pitch, and he launched the attack that would eventually lead to Jesper Blomqvist's cross and Cole's second goal of the night with 10 minutes left on the clock. Both teams decided a 3-3 draw would be a fair result, however, and two minutes after Cole's goal, the match was over.
The amount of legendary players on the pitch was truly impressive, and it was underlined when Scholes told the cameras after the match he was no longer wearing his shirt because World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger asked him whether he could have it during half-time, via Man Utd Activity:
Paul Scholes said that current Bayern medio Bastian Schweinsteiger specially requested him to give him his jersey after the game. #LEGEND— Man Utd Activity (@ManUtdActivity) August 9, 2014
The Manchester legend gave his shirt to Schweinsteiger on the spot, playing the second half without a number. Scholes was certainly one of the top performers on the pitch, proving that even at the age of 39, he's still a phenomenal player.
He confirmed the story in front of the cameras, adding that he greatly enjoyed this charity match.
Both teams put on an excellent show, even if the pace of the match dropped in the second half, and with the fixture ending in a draw, fans on social media were already looking forward to the second leg to be played at Old Trafford next year.
Breitner would be 63 by that time, but with how seriously he takes the game, don't be surprised if he shows up in top form and eager to beat his old foes one last time.