19 May, 19:00
Manchester United will not be wearing their familiar red and white kit in next Wednesday’s Europa League final - after UEFA confirmed they will be decked in their back-up blue strip for the clash against Ajax.
With their Dutch rivals designated as the ‘home’ team for the game in Stockholm, they will wear their white and red kit as they look to win the club’s first European trophy since 1995. That means United will be forced to wear their alternative kit, with Jose Mourinho’s class of 2017 set to follow in the footsteps of Matt Busby’s iconic 1968 European Cup winning side as they wore blue as they beat Benfica in the Wembley final.
George Best’s legendary performance as the club won Europe’s biggest prize for the first time is etched into United folklore and now another hero in blue is being asked to step forward and win a trophy that will also book them a place in next season’s Champions League. United also wore their back-up kit when they won the 1991 European Cup Winners’ Cup, with striker Mark Hughes inspiring a team wearing an all-white strip to a victory over Barcelona in Rotterdam.
However, United were beaten by Barcelona as they also wore a reserve white kit in the 2009 Champions League final in Rome, while they were second best once again in white jerseys as they again lost out to Barcelona in the 2011 final of Europe’s elite competition at Wembley.
The club’s most recent trophy was won after a switch to a reserve kit, with their dramatic FA Cup final win against Crystal Palace last May secure in a white jersey.