Steve McManaman is on course to become one of the most successful English player
Steve McManaman returned to England last night and played his part in Real's awesome display at Old Trafford and, if he continues like this, the former Liverpool man could well be on his way to becoming one of England's most successful European players ever.
Having signed for the Spanish giants on a Bosman from his home-town club of Liverpool in the summer of 1999, Macca immediately reaped the rewards of his move, taking home a European Cup winner's medal in his first season. He even scored a spectacular bicycle-kick to help Madrid to their 3-0 victory over Valencia in 2000.
The following year Macca and Madrid reached the Semi-Final, this time tasting defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich. Then, last season he became the latest member of a select band of Englishmen to win the European Cup twice.
His substitute's appearance against Bayer Leverkusen helped Madrid to their ninth victory in the competition, on a night in Glasgow that will always be remembered for Zidane's world-class left-foot volley from outside the area.
Now Macca looks as though he could be closing in on his third European Cup. Their defeat of Manchester United sees Madrid through to the last four and, on Wednesday night's evidence, if they decide they want to win a game, there are few teams in the world that would have a chance of stopping them.
So could Steve McManaman become the most decorated English player in the European Cup of all time?
Here's a look at the other Lions that have conquered Europe...with Phil Neal currently in pole position:
Four-Time European Cup winner:
Phil Neal (Liverpool) - 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984
Three-Time European Cup Winners:
Ray Clemence (Liverpool) - 1977, 1978 & 1981
Jimmy Case (Liverpool) - 1977, 1978 & 1981
Terry McDermott (Liverpool) - 1977, 1978 & 1981
Two-Time European Cup Winners:
Emlyn Hughes (Liverpool) - 1977 & 1978
Ray Kennedy (Liverpool) - 1977 & 1978
Alan Kennedy (Liverpool) -1981 & 1984
Steve Heighway (Liverpool) -1977 & 1978
Peter Shilton (Nottingham Forest) - 1979 & 1980
Viv Anderson (Nottingham Forest) - 1979 & 1980
Larry Lloyd (Nottingham Forest) - 1979 & 1980
Kenny Burns (Nottingham Forest) - 1979 & 1980
John McGovern (Nottingham Forest) - 1979 & 1980
Ian Bowyer (Nottingham Forest) - 1979 & 1980
Garry Birtles (Nottingham Forest) - 1979 & 1980
John Robertson (Nottingham Forest) - 1979 & 1980
Steve McManaman (Real Madrid) - 2000 & 2002
All of the above either started the Final matches or came on as a sub.
From Daniel Freedman and David Barber