Anderson on taking 2008 CL final penalty: ‘I’m f***ed’

Matt Stead

Anderson has described his feelings during the penalty shoot-out in the 2008 Champions League final.

The midfielder joined Manchester United in May 2007, and his first season at the club culminated in a showdown with Chelsea at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

He was named on the bench for the game and was brought on in stoppage time in the second period of extra-time with the sole purpose of taking a penalty in the ensuing shoot-out.

The Brazilian would take – and convert – United’s sixth penalty after Cristiano Ronaldo and John Terry both missed theirs, with Nicolas Anelka going on to miss the crucial spot kick as United were crowned European champions.

In an interview with Radio Grenal, Anderson, who left United in February 2015, says that he was “shaking” and “terrified” as he stepped up.

“I came on to take the penalty,” he said. “I hadn’t touched the ball. I was sitting on the bench, Giggs looked and said like this: ‘Get Anderson to take one’. I said ‘Oh my’. I was 18 at the time.”

When asked if he would have turned down the chance to take the penalty if offered, he replied: “What? I would run away! The history of the club in my hands! I would not take it!

“I’m joking. I went. How couldn’t I? I didn’t touch the ball. I got there, Ferguson saying ‘come, come, come’. He put me in, the game finished and I said ‘Oh my God’.

“I took the ball, it was the longest walk of my life. Even when I came from Azenha to Grêmio, it was the longest walk I ever saw. I came with the ball, there is no way I wouldn’t be shaking. I was already shaking. I was terrified. The story of a club, and our fans were on that side.

“I went to the ball, I got the ball, I looked at that goalkeeper, who is a giant. Cech opened his arms, I said ‘oh, I’m f***ed’. I’ll kick it hard, close my eyes and pray for the ball to go in… then I took three, four steps, I closed my eyes and the ball passed just by his hand.”