It was the night they could have made history.
But it just wasn’t to be for Sir Alex Ferguson and his Manchester United underdogs.
A dazzling Barcelona team lived up to every inch of their billing as the best football side in the world.
And the Man U dream of a third Champions League cup for Sir Alex faded away on an evening of high drama at Wembley.
Ryan Giggs – exposed this week as the married star who allegedly had an affair with Imogen Thomas and got an injunction to keep it secret – set up Wayne Rooney to score a magic first-half equaliser for United.
But the men from Old Trafford could not turn the Barca tide in front of a crowd of 86,000, with some paying up to £10,000 for a ticket.
Stunning goals from little genius Lionel Messi and David Villa crowned a sublime Barca display – and left a forlorn Sir Alex to comfort his battered team as they trudged off the pitch.
Barca’s pulsating 3-1 victory was watched worldwide by 400 million.
United fans not lucky enough to get their hands on a ticket packed into bars in Manchester for special screenings – including one attracting 1,000 punters to Lancashire County Cricket ground.
But the night turned into misery.