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Monday, May 24, 1999 Published at 17:41 GMT 18:41 UK

Sport: Football

Supersonic United on final journey

United will be hoping to celebrate another triumph on Wednesday

BBC Sports Correspondent Paul Newman: "Manchester United flew into Barcelona with a certain style"
The Manchester United team flew out to Spain on Concorde on Monday ahead of their European Cup final with Bayern Munich in Barcelona in the knowledge that their fans are not far behind.

Thirty thousand supporters, flying on over 200 different charter planes, costing something in the region of £10m, are also preparing for the journey.

United's Euro Showdown
Their team, who are one match away from winning an unprecedented treble after securing the Premiership title and the FA Cup, will be strengthened by the presence of Dutch defender Jaap Stam, who has recovered from an Achiles injury.

Teddy Sheringham, the FA Cup final matchwinner, has already prepared himself for the fact that he will have to settle for a place on the bench despite his performance at Wembley.


The bookmakers tend to believe that United will be strong enough with or without Sheringham, as they are now odds-on to win the biggest prize in European club football for the first time in 31 years.

Ladbrokes are expecting to pay out "millions" if United win and complete the Treble.

Steve Wilson reports from Barcelona on the team's build up to the match
"It is an historic game and it could be bad news for us if United do complete the Treble which has been quite well backed - not with big bets but the odds at the start of the season were 80-1 so we will pay out plenty of money if United win," said spokesman Sean Boyce.

"It is very difficult to say how much but it is safe to say that the pay-out may run into millions of pounds.


A very professional Bayern side awaits United at the Nou Camp stadium, a team that have also won the German equivalent of the league and cup double.

And United will be without captain Roy Keane and Paul Scholes, scorer of the second goal at Wembley, as both players are suspended.

In Keane's absence, Peter Schmeichel will wear the skipper's armband in his last game for the club.

Italian official Pierluigi Collina has been named as the referee.

The 39-year-old, famed for his bald head, was the same official that sent off England's Paul Ince during the Euro 2000 qualifier between England and Sweden in Stockholm.

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