Rio Ferdinand Described The Moment Sir Alex Ferguson Proved Him Wrong
Even the greats get things wrong but Rio Ferdinand found out it was less often with Sir Alex Ferguson, when the former Manchester United boss made a strange looking selection in a Champions League game.
Fergie was known for some surprise selections during his time as United boss, including the time he played three defenders in midfield for an FA Cup game against Arsenal, and one such shock left Ferdinand shaking his head.
Speaking on BT Sport on Friday, the former United defender revealed the decision to pick Darron Gibson for a must win Champions League quarter final against Bayern Munich left him confused, until the midfielder scored in the third minute.
"Darron Gibson came in once and he wasn't a regular starter," Rio told Gary Lineker after being asked if he'd ever been baffled by the Scot, "No disrespect to Darron Gibson, we were sitting there, Bayern Munich at home, we need to get out there and score a goal.
"'Why's he playing him?!'
"Within two minutes, Darron Gibson goes and scores the first goal.
"You look at the bench and think 'this geezer's a genius'"
"I remember Sir Alex picking Darron Gibson against Bayern and we needed to score goals."- Football on BT Sport #Club2020 (@btsportfootball) August 7, 2020
"Within two minutes he scored!" :joy:@rioferdy5 recalls a time when he was proven wrong by the former Man Utd boss' team selection...#Club2020 pic.twitter.com/QsVFaeC44p
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The decision to play the inexperienced Gibson, who'd played less than 20 Premier League games at that time, was ballsy from Sir Alex, with United needing to win.
Ivica Olic's last minute winner in the first leg meant the English side had to win at home to go through. Gibson gave them an early lead before Nani four minutes later and again with four minutes until half time.
Olic scored just before half-time and Rafael was sent off five minutes after the break for a second yellow before Arjen Robben's magnificent strike late on sent United out on away goals.
Gibson went on to have another surprise moment in a big Champions League game just a year later, again in a second leg against German opposition.
This time it was the semi-final against Schalke when his long range effort past Manuel Neuer put United 2-0 up on the night and 4-0 up on aggregate.
Fergie's side went through to the final but they were no match for Barcelona at Wembley.
What's the biggest surprise selection that paid off? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: PA/BT Sport