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Tuesday, 24 July, 2001, 22:50 GMT 23:50 UK
Barthez sparkles up front
Fabien Barthez plays on the left wing for Manchester United
Barthez had been pestering his manager for a while
Fabien Barthez finally realised his dream of playing outfield for Manchester United during a match on their Far East tour.

The goalkeeper played the last eight minutes of United's 8-1 romp against Team Singapore in the Kallang Stadium.

The Frenchman made a favourable impression playing up front, but failed to score and will return to goalkeeping duties in their next match.

He even tried to take David Beckham's number seven shirt before being ordered to swap it for number 14.

David Beckham
Beckham faced some competition for his number seven shirt

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed that Barthez had been asking to play in attack ever since he joined United.

"He has been pestering the life out of me for ages so thank God that's out of the road now and he can go back in goal.

"He's very capable with the ball, no doubt about that. It was just a bit of fun for Fabien to give him that game because he has been going on about playing out," said Ferguson.

Barthez came on with his team 7-1 up, but it took United half an hour to rack up the first goal through Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Indra Sahman scored a shock equaliser for Singapore but Phil Neville restored the lead with a deflected shot before Solskjaer netted his second on half-time.

Beckham scored the fourth from a deflected free-kick before Dwight Yorke weighed in with his first two goals of the tour.

'Very competitive'

Not to be outdone, Ruud van Nistelrooy made it 7-1 and Ryan Giggs completed the rout a minute from time.

"It took a while to get going and I thought they were very competitive.

"But once we got a goal we did well. Although they did score we finished the half quite well and in the second half it was a really good performance.

"Overall it was a very good team performance," said Ferguson.

United's final tour match is on Sunday against Thailand in Bangkok.

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