How Man United took a leaf out of Roger Federer’s book

Roger Federer’s mentality has always been key to his success and former Manchester United first-team coach René Meulensteen has revealed how they copied a thing or two from his playbook during their 2008 Champions League final success.

The Red Devils faced fellow Premier League side Chelsea in the 2008 final in Moscow and Sir Alex Ferguson’s men went on to win the match on penalties.

In an interview with Simon Yaffe for our sister site, Meulensteen explained he used Federer to inspire the Manchester United players.

“I am a keen tennis fan and I have always admired Roger Federer and the way he controls his emotions,” he said.

“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.”

READ the full interview: René Meulensteen says Roger Federer helped win Man Utd the 2008 UCL final