With the UEFA Europa League final set to take place on Wednesday, a tweet from an unlikely football club was recently published that involves one of those set to participate in the competition.
Of course, Manchester United and Villarreal will meet in Gdansk, Poland, to win the competition, although Villarreal may have just been reminded of one of their worst nightmares just a couple of days before the grand showpiece.
Indeed, although it was almost a decade ago, the Spanish side were once upset by University College Dublin AFC in a friendly that had been organised between the two sides.
Whilst the defeat would have been a shock of huge proportions, it would have fallen pale in comparison to the talented players that were on the pitch in both halves for the team currently led by Unai Emery.
Indeed, the Spanish side had a number of internationals on the pitch, including a number of players who had been able to win the FIFA World Cup during their careers to that point.
Individuals such as Santi Cazorla, Diego Lopez, Marcos Senna, Carlos Marchena, Juan Capdevila, Cani and Nilmar were all involved as the team were preparing for their campaign in the UEFA Champions League that year.
This is how the Yellow SubmarinesÂ – as they are affectionately known – lined up on the night:
Villarreal first half team:Â Diego Lopez,Â Marchena, Capdevila Mario, Joselu, Gerard Bardas, Ruben, Cani, Kiko, Valero, Bruno
Villarreal second half team: Cesar, Marino, Iriome, Pepe, Castellani, Marcos Gullon, Marcos Senna, Cazorla, Nilmar, Musacchio, Joan Oriol.
The game against UCD should have been something that was a formality, although anyone that knows anything about football will know that formalities are something that simply does not happen. Punters who are experienced and use gambling sites not on gamstop will certainly know the score when it comes down to assuming something.
Despite having been beaten by Dundalk in their fixture the night before, the team of students went on to beat the La Liga side 4-3. Furthermore, they were not even Villarreal’s original opponents and were also in the midst of a relegation battle that was proving to be rather intense.
Nonetheless, the team that largely played the night managed to shock the Spaniards on an unforgettable night for many of the players involved – at least for the Irish side.
“When the team sheet came in during the warm-up, I started to think OK, this is an opposition and quality that we would not have faced before,” Paul Corry, who played in the game, toldÂ Extra Time as part of an in-depth feature on the match.
“There were World Cup winners in there; they had been playing in the Champions League in the not-so-distant past.
“They probably underestimated us. That’s the feeling that I got.
“They were probably right to do so because I think when you see college or university in a name, it’s only natural to think it would be a walk in the park.”
Ger Barron played in goal and revealed that it is a game that he still looks back on with great fondness; perhaps as much as those bettors who are able to get a no deposit bonus for registration on a site.
“I remember saying on Twitter that when you reach the pinnacle of your career by defeating Villarreal in a meaningless mid-season friendly – I don’t know whether to be ashamed or delighted with it,” Barron added.
“For a one-off game, the game is a great story to tell, and it’s the fairy-tale of the underdog where anyone could beat anyone.
“I don’t even think our mothers would have given us a hope of beating Villarreal that day, and we did. I look back on it with great fondness.”
Indeed, Villarreal will certainly not be taking Manchester United lightly when the two sides meet in the UEFA Europa League Final in Gdansk, although they will already know that they can defeat English opposition, having been able to beat Emery’s previous employers, Arsenal, in the semi-final of the competition.