Ex United coach reveals how a famous tennis player helped us win the UEFA Champions League back in 2008

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Former Manchester United assistant coach, Reinhard Meulesteen, has opened up on how tennis legend Roger Federer, helped influence our European triumph in 2008.

Speaking in an interview, the Dutchman said: “I am a keen tennis fan and I have always admired Roger Federer and the way he controls his emotions.

“I selected five clips of Federer for the boys to watch and asked them to write down which tournament he was appearing in, which set it was and which point.

“They would identify, say, Wimbledon as the competition, but they couldn’t tell me which point or set it was.

“The point I made to them was that wherever Federer was playing, he was winning and performing at the highest level when it really mattered.

“He would win the first set, then lose the second and the third but, by the time the game reached match point, everything which had happened before didn’t matter because he was so focused on winning.”

Photo: Getty images

Moving on, the 56 year old added: “I said to the boss after we had won against Barcelona that, even if we beat West Ham and Wigan and are champions, we have to press the restart button ahead of the Champions League final with Chelsea.

“We were 40-30 on our own serve so it was our Federer moment and that is exactly where we needed to be.”

Meulesteen spent a total 12 years at Old Trafford before leaving to manage Russian side, Anzhi Makhachkala. He currently works as an assistant manager with the Australian national team. During his time, he was one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s closest allies at United.

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