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Wednesday, 24 May, 2000, 21:55 GMT 22:55 UK
Macca is the Real thing
Trophy
Real Madrid parade the trophy
Steve McManaman was the toast of Madrid after he helped Real to a 3-0 win over Valencia in the Champions League final in Paris.

The former Liverpool midfielder admitted the match was the biggest game of his career after virtually sealing his place in Kevin Keegan's Euro 2000 squad.

McManaman set alight the Stade de France with his mesmorising performance which he capped with a stunning volley midway through the second half.

Fernando Morientes had set Real on their way to an amazing eighth success in Europe's top club competition with a first-half header and Raul wrapped up the game with a stunning breakaway goal fifteen minutes before the end.

A delighted McManaman said: "This is without a doubt the biggest game I've ever played in and the fact that we've come out winners is fantastic.

"As I've always said as we have gone along in this, the most important thing is the team.

"We've got a fantastic victory. It's important that we are in the Champions League next season, so a great night all round."

And the former Liverpool star played down his wonderful strike saying: "I just decided to go in off Roberto's Carlos throw in, the lad's headed it out clear to me and you know, the eyes were shut and the volley went in!

"The battle when you come abroad is the language, settling in of course, but to gain respect off your team-mates.

"You have to gain their confidence and show you can play. That's a big battle and thankfully I've done that," he added.

McManaman is now hoping to play an integral part of England's campaign at Euro 2000, with Kevin Keegan most likely to utilise him on the left flank.

"There's no problem, as long as I play it will be fantastic. I know the lads are watching in Burnham and hopefully I'll see them at the weekend."

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