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Lads, It's Been 19 Years Since John O'Shea Nutmegged Luis Figo

By Balls Team
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Where does the time go? It has been all of 15 years since Luis Figo was embarrassed on the world stage by our very own John O'Shea. The year was 2003 and the United defender was staring into the second leg of a Champions League quarter final against Ballon D'or winner Luis Figo, with the Manchester club 3-1 down from the Bernabeu.

You could forgive the Waterford native for being cautious in his play, but when presented with the opportunity to attack the Portuguese winger early in the game, O'Shea confounded the entire footballing public by executing a deft nutmeg that any Galactico would be proud of.

O'Shea was Manchester United's starting left back that day.


Here it is, in all its grainy glory:

[Watch Video]

Granted a hat trick by the Brazilian Ronaldo would put paid to United's Champions League hopes as Madrid lost 4-3 on the night but progressed 6-5 on aggregate, yet O'Shea's moment of skill has lived long in the memories of both United and Ireland fans.

Speaking to Manchester United's official podcast last year, O'Shea discussed how the moment has endured.


"It’s crazy the amount of people that still talk about it and mention it. It was just one of those things…

“I was pure shocked. The game itself… it was weird, because when you’re left back the scenario for me would be easier coming back into the right foot. Obviously I’m naturally right-footed.

“Thankfully, when I did it, I was actually able to keep the ball and keep possession.

“But I would have gladly let Figo nutmeg me 100 times and we win the game, if you know what I mean. The fact that they went and knocked us out was annoying.

“I’ll always remember the manager saying afterwards… about our ages, and the level you need to get to to be dominant in Europe, and understand European football.

“They’d done us. It took a while to get there, but we did in the end.”

O'Shea would go on to win the Champions League five years later, but this nutmeg was perhaps the zenith of his contribution to Europe's elite competition

SEE ALSO: Man United v Real Madrid In 2003 - One Of The Greatest Champions League Games Ever

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