What should have been a showpiece occasion will instead carry a sombre tone, with players joining together for a pre-match minute’s silence in memory of the 22 people killed at Manchester Arena on Monday.
“It should be one big celebration, but when something like this happens two days before, the fact we’ve been discussing it just goes to show the impact,”
“It is a match that
United cancelled their own pre-match press conference, with their only public appearance a solemn walk around the Friends Arena pitch as evening descended over the Swedish capital on Tuesday.
United manager Jose Mourinho said he and his players were finding it hard not to think about the attack, which targeted fans leaving a pop concert by the American singer Ariana Grande and left 22 people dead and 59 injured.
“We can’t take out of our minds and hearts the victims and their families,” Mourinho said in comments published on Twitter by United.
United captain Wayne Rooney described the news as “devastating”, while executive vice-chaiman Ed Woodward said everyone at the club was “numb”.
“We’ve got a job to do tomorrow, no question about that, and that hasn’t been changed, but I think what happened last night really put things into perspective,” Woodward told MUTV.
“Success on the pitch really is nothing compared to the pain and suffering going on back home. That is really where our thoughts are at this point in time.”
United’s players will wear black armbands and a pre-match ceremony has been truncated.
European governing body UEFA said it had “no specific intelligence” suggesting the final would be targeted by attacks.
Security arrangements have already been ramped up following last month’s truck attack in
While thoughts of what happened in
United are seeking to win the only trophy they have never won and, in doing so, secure a place in next season’s Champions League, having failed to qualify via the Premier League.
They can also become only the fifth club – after
Mourinho, who won the UEFA Cup with Porto in 2003, has already steered United to League Cup glory, but he accepts his maiden Old Trafford season will be perceived as a failure if his side fall to Bosz’s dazzling young
There will be no glorious homecoming for Zlatan Ibahimovic, United’s Swedish former
UEFA has agreed to a minute's silence and black armbands during the Europa League final in respect of the terrible events in Manchester.
They won the previous season’s Champions League and with fabled figures from their 1990s golden team now employed behind the scenes, there is a feeling that the
“All the young players in
“A lot of those players are still working in
“Obviously the young players know our history because they’re educated from our youth academy.
“We have our own way of playing, which I always call the