Manchester United win poll for greatest sporting decision with 1999 treble win

Champions League Trophy

For the last few weeks Sky Sport have been asking the public to pick their greatest sporting decision, here are the results:

As with so many sporting polls it seems that football, our biggest and most watched sport often dominates the top of the leaderboard, and very little changed this week as Sky Sports revealed their results from the ’50 greatest sporting decisions’ poll, with football filling the top 5 places.

The nation were invited to vote on a selection of 50 great result changing moments and it was Sir Alex Fergusons tactical substitutions during the dying minutes of the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich which many thought was the most influential.

I’m sure you all know the story but with, only a matter of minutes left on the clock and United trailing 1-0, Ferguson decided to make a double substitution of Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer which saw them score two stoppage time goals and help the side complete a memorable treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.

The other selections were in second place, Barcelona’s gamble on paying medical bills costing just £900 per month and signing an 11-year-old Lionel Messi who had been diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency, Messi has now won everything for his club and it looks like the deal to relocated him from Argentina to Spain, truly was priceless.

In third it was, Rafa Benitez’s choice to swap Steve Finnan with Didi Hamman in the 2003 Champions league final, trailing the match 3-0 at one point the Reds roared back to level the game 3-3 before Jerzy Dudek became a penalty shoot-out hero, ensuring the trophy came back to England.

Manchester United again occupied one of the top spots, as the decision to sign Eric Cantona from Leeds changed the club and kick started an era of Premier League dominance.

Finally in fifth place it was the decision made by the Arsenal board to hire the services of the relatively unheard of Arsene Wenger, the Frenchman went on to become a legend at the club leading the side to several trophies and an unbeaten season, whilst signing the likes of Thierry Henry and Patrick Viera.

All this got me thinking about my favourite non-football decision and for me it has to be the decision to take Darren Clarke to the 2006 Ryder Cup just weeks after losing his wife Heather to cancer, Clarke was focused and composed and formed a formidable partnership with best friend Lee Westwood, he finished the competition unbeaten taking 3 full points before memorably breaking down on the 16th green after Europe won the trophy. The move to take him was a bold one but added the spark that the team needed.

Tell us what your favourite non-football decision was in the comment box below.

image: © andyjakeman

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