Manchester United players dedicated their Europa League success to the victims of Monday’s terror attack.
Two days after a suicide bomber killed 22 people following an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena, United’s fans, players and staff stood unbowed in Stockholm.
Goals from Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan secured a 2-0 win against Dutch side Ajax and the club’s first continental trophy in nine years.
After receiving the trophy and the adulation of the club’s fans inside the Friends Arena, man of the match Ander Herrera delivered a heartfelt tribute to those who were affected by the attack.
He said: “I am happy but I want to dedicate this to the victims. This is just football but what happened two day ago was horrible.
“We want peace in the world – a normal world with respect. We are just football players but we have an audience so we want to work together for a normal world.
“This happened in Manchester but everywhere we need to have a united world to fight for peace and no more attacks and deaths please.”
Herrera shone in midfield as United joined Ajax, Bayern Munich and Juventus as the only clubs to have won all three major UEFA trophies, including the now-defunct European Cup Winners’ Cup, as well as the Club World Cup or the Intercontinental Cup.
The Spaniard admitted it was difficult to concentrate in the build-up to the game due to the events taking place in the city.
“Yesterday morning we were devastated. We were really, really sad because you think of life and football – you have no choice,” he said.
“It was difficult to train yesterday but the manager told us the only thing we could do is win this for them and that is what we have done.
“It is just a football game and a trophy but if we can help and support with this just one per cent it is enough for us.”